Absolutely shocking news has just hit the internet: The Associated Press reports that Chadwick Boseman, star of Black Panther and numerous other Marvel movies, has died. According to the AP, Boseman “was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago,” and passed away on Friday surrounded by his wife and family. He was only 43 years old.

His family gave this statement to the AP:

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. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.

His death was also confirmed on Bosewick’s Twitter account, which revealed that he was diagnosed “with stage III colon cancer in 2016” and played many of his most famous roles “during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”

Boseman had never talked about his cancer diagnosis publicly. He was just seen in a movie a few months ago, when he played "Stormin'" Norman, the leader of the group of soldiers at the center of Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boseman appeared four times as T’Challa, King of Wakanda: Captain America: Civil WarBlack Panther, and in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. His confident, charismatic performance in Black Panther anchored one of the biggest superhero movies in history.

Born in South Carolina in 1976, Boseman studied directing at Howard University, and initially wanted to be a writer and director. He began studying acting to further those pursuits, then began to find work as an actor. He appeared on episodes of Third WatchLaw & Order, and ER before landing a regular role on 2010’s Persons Unknown. His movie breakthrough came in 2013, playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the biopic 42. 

The next year he was outstanding as James Brown in the biographical movie Get On Up. He also had memorable roles in Draft DayGods of Egypt, and Marshall.

Just 43 years old, Boseman seemed to have an enormously bright future ahead of him. He should have had an enormously bright future ahead of him. Black Panther 2 was already in development at Marvel, and who knows how many other great performances he would have given beyond that. This is a devastating, shocking loss for his family, for Hollywood, and for movie lovers around the world.

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