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‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman dies

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Ahmed Bekoe
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Chadwick Aaron Boseman was an American actor and producer. He has portrayed several real-life historical figures, such as Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

Chadwick Boseman was famous for playing the titular role of Black Panther in the Marvel franchise – but while he was fighting villains on screen, he was fighting a very real battle in his personal life.

Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016. But the actor never publicly discussed his condition and continued to work on major Hollywood films during his battle with the deadly disease. He died on Friday, at home with his family and wife, aged 43.

 Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman dies

‘It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther,” they said.

Boseman had not spoken about his diagnosis, but had sparked concerns over health earlier this year after fans took note of his unusually thin appearance. 

He became the first black superhero to get his own standalone film in the record-breaking Marvel franchise with 2018’s ‘Black Panther.

Boseman first appeared as the character in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War when he joined Marvel and signed up to become part of the Marvel Universe franchise.

Sadly, not long after appearing in the film, he received his devastating diagnosis.

 But that did not stop the star from appearing in multiple movies – despite film sets’ notoriously long shooting days and tough working schedules. 

For his biggest role, Black Panther, the star trained rigorously to get in shape and learned Angolan capoeira, Dambe boxing, Zulu stick fighting, karate, kung-fu and jiu-jitsu for the role and its many fight scenes.

In March 2017, while shooting the movie, his costar Andy Serkis described the grueling big chase sequence, filmed in Busan, South Korea.

More than 700 crew members and 150 vehicles were gathered to film Boseman’s T’Challa pursue Serkis’  evil arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, who he brings down with a knee to the chest.  

‘It was a night shoot and the very, very first take he kneed me so hard in the chest, ’cause he couldn’t really see with his mask on,’ Serkis recalled. ‘I felt like he had broken my ribs in that very first take.’

 Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman dies

They shot the scene at least 30 times, according to Serkis, who said Boseman – who was still battling cancer at the time – gave incredible energy and performance each time.

When he wasn’t filming, the star also paid a visit to children’s hospital St Jude’s to visit children suffering from cancer – something he was sadly all too familiar with at the time. 

Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. His striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Jackie Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013´s ’42’ drew attention in Hollywood and made him a star. He also starred in James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up the following year.

Boseman died on a day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson day. ‘His transcendent performance in `42´ will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie´s story to audiences for generations to come,’ the league wrote in a tweet. 

He first played Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, before the character headlined a hugely successful blockbuster in 2018.

The film´s vision of Afrofuturism and the technologically advanced civilization of Wakanda resonated with audiences, some of whom wore African attire to showings and helped propel ‘Black Panther’ to more than $1.3 billion in global box office. It is the only Marvel Studios film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination.

The character was last seen standing silently dressed in a black suit at Tony Stark´s funeral in last year´s ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ A ‘Black Panther’ sequel had been announced, and was one of the studio’s most anticipated upcoming films.

In addition to Robinson and Brown, Boseman portrayed the future U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Thurgood Marshall in 2017´s ‘Marshall.’ He humanized the larger-than-life historical figures with the same quiet dignity – interrupted by flashes of sparkling wit – that he would later bring to T’Challa. 

Chadwick Boseman sadly died of a colon cancer.

WHAT IS COLON CANCER? 

Colon cancer is a cancer of the large intestine (the colon).

Usually, it starts with polyps, which are small clumps of cells.

Gastroenterologists can see them in a colonoscopy because they are raised off the surface of the colon like a mole.

Symptoms include:

  1. Blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
  2. Stomach cramps
  3. Persistant gas
  4. Never feeling like you have emptied your bowels
  5. Exhaustion
  6. Weight loss
  7. Change in bowel habits that persists for more than a month

People with stage 1 tumors have a survival rate (living five years or more) of 80-95 percent.

At stage 2, the survival rate is 55 to 80 percent.

At stage 3, it’s about 40 percent, and at stage 4 it’s about 10 percent.

Our hero; Black Panther would forever be remembered.

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