A candlelight vigil in memory of the late actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his starring role in the 2018 film “Black Panther,” is scheduled Saturday at Leimert Park.
Boseman, 43, who died of colon cancer Friday at his Los Angeles area home, was also known for his roles as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s ”Marshall,” singer James Brown in 2014’s”Get On Up” and baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson in 2013’s “42.”
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage 4,” a representative said in a statement on Boseman’s Twitter account Friday evening.
Boseman portrayed the superhero Black Panther in four Marvel Cinematic Universe films — “Captain America: Civil War,” “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”
“It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in `Black Panther,”’ the statement said.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From `Marshall’ to `Da 5 Bloods,’ `August Wilson’s `Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy,” the statement read.
Boseman died at his home surrounded by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family, according to the statement.
He was raised in South Carolina before moving to Washington, D.C. to study at Howard University, where he graduated in 2000. He was also a graduate of the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford, England.
His “Avengers” co-stars, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans took to Twitter to express their emotions over Boseman’s death.
“All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of Chadwick Boseman,” Ruffalo said. “What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.”
Evans, who played “Captain America” said, “This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King.”
Former President Barack Obama tweeted a photo with Boseman from 2016 with the message: “Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain — what a use of his years.”
Obama’s former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted: “The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, and a fellow Howard graduate, tweeted that she was heartbroken by Boseman’s death.
“My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble,” Harris tweeted. “He left too early but his life made a difference.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted: “People in L.A. and across the country are mourning the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman, a hero offscreen and onscreen who honored Black stories with strength and grace. Sending our condolences to his family and loved ones. Rest in power.”
Movie superstar Dwayne Johnson tweeted: “Hard to hear about this. Rest in love, brother. Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family.”
Robert A. Iger, executive chairman of the Walt Disney Co., whose holdings include Marvel, described Boseman as “an extraordinary talent and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met.”
“He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther, shattering myths and stereotypes, becoming a long-awaited hero to millions around the world and inspiring us all to dream bigger and demand more than the status quo,” Iger said.
Said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris: “The absolute pinnacle of our profession is not fame, fortune or accolades. It is the simple act of touching someone’s heart, nourishing their soul and giving voice and meaning to our hopes and dreams.
“Chadwick soared far above those heights inspiring a thousand possibilities in the minds of our children while elevating our culture. He exemplified the best of storytelling and the best of who we can be leaving a lasting legacy that sustains us.”
Actress Angela Bassett, who played Queen Ramonda, the mother to Boseman’s “Black Panther” character,” recalled that she was the speaker at his Howard University graduation ceremony and was escorted to the podium by her future co-star.
“I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience,” Bassett wrote in a lengthy tribute on Instagram. “This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.”
Netflix — which is scheduled to release Boseman’s final film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” later this year — tweeted: “A hero in every sense. Rest in power to Chadwick Boseman whose gifts will live on forever.”
In addition to his wife, Boseman’s survivors include two brothers, Kevin and Derrick.
The candlelight vigil is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m at the park on West 43rd Place between Degnan and Leimert boulevards and is being organized by Project Islamic Hope.