After a four-year struggle with colon cancer, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died.
The actor was known not only for his lead role in the blockbuster Marvel film, but also his belief in the power of prayer.
That's how he believes he was cast in the role of T'Challa, Wakanda's king and protector.
"I had already written about 'Black Panther' in my journals as something that I wanted to do and I had written down certain things that I would like to see in a movie about Black Panther," Boseman said in a 2017 interview with Hunger Magazine. "I'd had people tell me that if there was gonna be a Black Panther movie then I should be the one to play him, so when they called me it was surreal.
"You pray for something and then it actually occurs, you almost can't believe it."
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, an Instagram post on his page in memorium states. He continued to work around treatments to film movies like Black Panther as his illness progressed to stage IV.
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It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. 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. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. Photo Credit: @samjonespictures
He was 43 at the time of his death.
Boseman is known for his roles in Marvel's Black Panther, as James Brown in Get On Up, and for his portrayal of baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42.
The actor died on Jackie Robinson Day -- Aug. 28, 2020 -- just seven years after playing the role.
As a kid, faith was a part of Boseman's life. His childhood pastor, Samuel Neely, spoke with Fox Carolina in 2018.
"Even though he plays these different people, I still see the person I knew as a child. When I see him, it's almost like seeing my own child, he's still Chad," says Neely.
The pastor is now retired from Welfare Baptist Church, but Neely says he still remembers Boseman's baptism and watching him grow up in his community.
"He did a lot of positive things within the church and within the community," Neely says. "With him singing in the choir, with him working the youth group, he always was doing something, always helping out, always serving. That was his personality."
Neely says Boseman still held his faith closely as he worked to accomplish his dreams and goals.
"I just seen him mature, and blossom into a man, and he's doing an excellent job.
"He's always been a focused guy, he knew what he wanted and he was going after it," Neely says.