The world was heavily struck when the disheartening news hit that the “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman died from Stage IV colon cancer. To make matters even more jarring, Boseman kept his diagnosis and the critical condition of his sickness under wraps.
Many fans from around the world just watched Boseman’s phenomenal acting on “Avengers: Endgame” and expected to see him again on screen for “Black Panther 2” and the many other powerful and thought-provoking roles they knew he could portray.
Boseman even kept his illness hidden from his co-stars. According to Independent Mail, Marvel Studio’s President Kevin Fiege did not know about Boseman’s illness until the day that he died.
Only a very small and tight-knit group of close friends and family members knew about Boseman having cancer.
In a story for The Hollywood Reporter, Boseman’s agent, Michael Greene, his fitness coach, Addison Henderson and his producing partner, Logan Coles publicized why Boseman stayed tight-lipped about his sickness.
As indicated by Greene, Boseman’s mother Carolyn was the reason behind why he kept his cancer battle private.
“[She] always taught him not to have people fuss over him. He also felt in this business that people trip out about things and he was a very, very private person.”
Boseman being such a private person meant that he was discreetly suffering on set so that no one would notice. The last production he was able to film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” will be streaming on Netflix in the near future.
Green explained that “he was really in hardcore pain” while filming, but “felt that being able to be with [co-star] Denzel [Washington] and to launch this cycle of [playwright] August Wilson at Netflix was so exciting to him.”
This movie held a great significance to Boseman since Washington once paid for Boseman to attend Oxford University for acting classes.
Green, Henderson and his other close friends also state that Boseman knew that becoming a major movie star allowed for him to uplift and inspire others and he knew that his gift should not be dissipated by a deadly disease.
“Some people wait a lifetime to get the opportunity that he had and Chad had so much wisdom, so much knowledge, so much inside of him that he wasn’t going to let this disease stop him from telling these amazing stories and showing his art in the prime of his life.”
Not asking for pity while secretly being in pain on his last films? Pure heroism.