Chadwick Boseman death: Tributes pour in for Black Panther actor

Chadwick Boseman, the man who brought the Black Panther character to life, is being remembered for bringing strength and light to the screen.

On Saturday, a statement posted to Boseman's, 43, Twitter account confirmed the actor had passed away after battling colon cancer for four years.

The shocking news has led to an outpouring of grief as well as tributes to Boseman, who appeared most recently in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods. The actor last performed as Black Panther in 2019's Marvel film Avengers: Endgame, the highest grossing film of all time.

"Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace," said the Marvel Studios Twitter account. That same message was repeated on the Black Panther account.

"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," said Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo.

"The true power of Chadwick Boseman 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," said Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wrote that Boseman was "someone who radiated power and peace" and stood "for so much more than himself".

"I'm honour 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," Larson said.

The man who plays Captain America, Chris Evans, took to Instagram to say he was "absolutely devastated".

"This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. Few performers have such power and versatility. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in power, King," Evans wrote.

Robert Iger, the executive chairman of Disney, said Boseman was 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.  We mourn all that he was, as well as everything he was destined to become," Iger said.

"For his friends and millions of fans, his absence from the screen is only eclipsed by his absence from our lives.  All of us at Disney send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family."

Actress Halle Berry also shared her thoughts.

"Here’s to an incredible man with immeasurable talent, who leaned into life regardless of his personal battles. You never truly know what the people around you might be going through - treat them with kindness and cherish every minute you have together," wrote Berry.

Actress Octavia Spencer said: "We’ve lost a great one. My heart is truly broken."

New Zealand director Taika Waititi - who directed the Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok - said it was "devastating news".

"We lost a great one. Takoto mai rā e Āriki," Waititi wrote.

"Chadwick Boseman brought history to life on the silver screen, from Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall. As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many. And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed," said Martin Luther King III.

"So stunned. Honored to have worked with @chadwickboseman early on. Truly an amazing man. God bless his wife and family in this difficult time. Rest In Peace, brother," said actor Terry Crews.

"An immeasurable loss. From 'Black Panther to Da 5 Bloods' Chadwick Boseman brought strength and light to the screen, every time," said The Academy, the group behind the Oscars. 

Black Panther, a 2018 comic-book film centred around the comic-book character, was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. The cultural significance of the film and its representation of Black talent catapulted it to mainstream success and allowed it to break into awards races, which typically have not welcomed comic-book films.

Filmmaker Jordan Peele wrote on Twitter after news broke of Boseman's death: "This is a crushing blow". 

"Rest In Peace, Chadwick. Gone way too soon. Talent beyond," said actress Alyssa Milano.

Singer Tinashe quoted Boseman: "'Purpose is the essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill.' --Chadwick Boseman".