When Chadwick Boseman, iconic for his portrayal of T'Challa in "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War," and "Avengers: Endgame," died after a secret four-year battle with colon cancer Friday, his loss left his peers as surprised and devastated as his fans.
The outpouring was so intense that his account's last tweet, announcing his death, is now the most-liked tweet of all time.
Angela Bassett, Ramonda in "Black Panther," wrote movingly of her connection with Boseman on Instagram. "It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family," she began. "But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience."
She went on to express, "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...'thou aren’t not dead but flown afar...'. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever."
Forrest Whitaker, Zuri in the movie, tweeted, "Your light brightened our days. It will continue to brighten our hearts and minds. Let the heavens be blessed as you illuminate the sky. Sending my love and prayers to the family. May god continue to hold you in his everlasting embrace. RIP Chadwick."
N'Jobu, Sterling K. Brown, tweeted solemnly, "I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed." He ended his post with a pair of Black fists bumping in solidarity.
Along with the grief expressed by the "Black Panther" cast and creatives, many others in Hollywood — some of whom had worked with Boseman, others of whom simply admired him — took to social media to share their thoughts on his loss at just 43.
Oscar winner Brie Larson, his "Avengers: Endgame" co-star, posted a statement on Twitter that read, "Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much than than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure. I'm honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend."
Their fellow "Avengers" alum Mark Ruffalo tweeted, "All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. 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."
Chris Evans wrote, "I’m absolutely devastated. 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💙."
Denzel Washington, who along with Phylicia Rashad once quietly helped pay for Boseman's training, told The Hollywood Reporter, "He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist,who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman."
Boseman's final social media post expressed enthusiasm for fellow Howard U grad Kamala Harris's selection as Joe Biden's running mate. Harris, who had met Boseman, tweeted, "From his groundbreaking work in Black Panther to his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, Chadwick Boseman helped paint a new picture of what’s possible. Keeping his family, friends, and fans in my prayers during this difficult time."
Other reactions to news of the fallen star:
President Obama tweeted, "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."
This is a crushing blow.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) August 29, 2020
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.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 29, 2020
"I woke up to this tragic news. I knew the wildly impressive @chadwickboseman through @RealImagine #GetOnUp where he was brilliant. His recent work despite being ill is stunning. Condolences to loved ones. I’m so sorry for your & our loss." — Ron Howard, Twitter
"Chadwick.....no words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity........It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you....Rest well prince...May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you!" — Viola Davis, Twitter
"A warrior of light til the very end. A true king. I am without words. May he rise in power." — Kerry Washington, Twitter
"i will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god ... ✌🏿♥️✊🏿 🙅🏿♂️ forever and ever ..." — Don Cheadle, Twitter
"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." — Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Twitter
"What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like." — Oprah Winfrey, Twitter
"Honestly, I’m indebted. People went from clowning Africans to wanting to be ‘African’ because of the character this man played, and what he gave us. Thank You, Chadwick. Life is short. Tell those you love that you love them. Love y’all." — Emmanuel Acho, Twitter
This broke me.— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) August 29, 2020
May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so. pic.twitter.com/jdip3RHoXb— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 29, 2020
We love you, Chadwick. Your legacy will never die. #ripchadwickboseman— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) August 29, 2020