Chadwick Boseman would have turned 44 on Sunday, Nov. 29. The Black Panther star died on Aug. 28 following a years-long battle with colon cancer. Now, Boseman’s former co-stars and family are paying tribute to the beloved actor on social media.
Chadwick Boseman died on Aug. 28, 2020
Boseman’s death shocked the world when it was announced by his family, as the Avengers alum kept his cancer diagnosis and treatment private. Throughout all of the films he worked on the last four years of his life, which spanned from Black Panther to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Boseman didn’t reveal the truth about his health and chose instead to focus on the legacy he was leaving behind.
Even Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, who worked closely with Boseman throughout the Marvel hit’s production, wasn’t aware of his friend’s illness.
In the months since his death, Disney, Marvel, and Boseman’s co-stars have honored Boseman with special tributes. And his 44th birthday has made for another opportunity for them to express their love for him.
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Lupita Nyong’o and Viola Davis’ birthday messages for Chadwick Boseman were short and sweet
For her part, Lupita Nyong’o—who played Nakia alongside Boseman’s T’Challa in Black Panther—shared an old photo of her and Boseman smiling.
“Deeply love, sorely missed,” the Oscar winner tweeted.
While many of the MCU actors were quick to respond to the news of Boseman’s death in August, Nyong’o took her time releasing a statement, no doubt taking time to absorb the news and to gather her thoughts. On Sept. 8, she finally gave a statement on Instagram, sharing a group of photos of her and Boseman.
“We are all changed by his work,” she wrote. “His power lives on and will reverberate for generations to come. Chadwick’s death is something that I can neither take in nor take in stride right now. Perhaps with time… I’m going to take my time… and in his honor, I promise not to waste my time. I hope you will do the same.”
As for Davis, the Emmy winner shared a short, glittering video of her Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-star.
“Happy birthday in Heaven, Chadwick! You are still so alive to me!! I love you,” she tweeted. Davis and Boseman’s performances in the Netflix adaptation of the August Wilson play is already stirring up Oscar buzz.
RELATED: Viola Davis Reveals Chadwick Boseman ‘Hated the Celebrity Part’ of Acting
Michael B. Jordan’s birthday message to Chadwick Boseman was heartfelt
Michael B. Jordan, who played T’Challa’s cousin, Erik Killmonger, in Black Panther, paid tribute to his friend on Instagram.
Sharing a black-and-white photo of the two hugging, the Creed alum wrote, “Continue watching over us King. Happy Birthday. Miss you.”
Avengers star Mark Ruffalo also commemorated Boseman’s birthday. He shared a video on Twitter taken on set of Avengers: Infinity War showing the cast and crew singing “Happy Birthday” to the 21 Bridges star. Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, and Sebastian Stan are visible in the video.
“Thinking of your passion, love, and your light today, @chadwickboseman,” Ruffalo tweeted. “Happy Birthday. Wishing we could time travel back to this moment.”
Marvel Entertainment also shared a special video tribute to Boseman with the caption, “Long live the King #WakandaForever.”
In a beautiful and simple tribute, Boseman’s older brother, Kevin Boseman, shared a photo of white flowers on his Instagram with the caption, “Today is a good day to give someone their flowers.”
Kevin (who is an actor, choreographer, dancer, writer, and singer in New York City) had previously posted about his late brother on Nov. 14, following the actor’s Gotham Award nomination for Ma Rainey.
“I had to sit with this for a couple days,” he wrote. “After screening this with him, I told him he was about to get all the nominations and… I was so faithful he’d be here to experience this moment. Congratulations, Baby Brother.”
Hollywood really did lose a legend.