Chadwick Boseman Biography
Chadwick Boseman, an American actor and producer, was renowned for his portrayals of real-life historical figures and as the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He starred in several acclaimed movies such as 42, Get on Up, Marshall, Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, 21 Bridges, and Da 5 Bloods. Boseman passed away at 43 after being diagnosed with colon cancer four years earlier.
Boseman, an African American, was born and brought up in Anderson, South Carolina by his parents, Carolyn and Leroy Boseman. DNA testing revealed that his ancestors were Krio people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba people from Nigeria, and Limba people from Sierra Leone. His mother worked as a nurse, while his father managed an upholstery business in a textile factory. Boseman completed his high school education from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995. During his junior year, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed.
After completing high school, Boseman enrolled in Howard University in Washington, D.C. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in directing. During his time at Howard, he was mentored by Phylicia Rashad, who helped him and his classmates raise funds to attend the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London.
Boseman’s initial interest was in writing and directing, and he studied acting to better understand working with actors. He later completed his studies at the Digital Film Academy in New York City.
At the beginning of his career, Boseman resided in Brooklyn. He served as a drama instructor at the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program located in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. In 2008, he relocated to Los Angeles to embark on an acting career.
- Full Name: Chadwick Aaron Boseman
- Other Names: Chad Boseman
- Born: November 29, 1977
- Birth Place: Anderson, South Carolina, U.S.A
- Died: August 28, 2020,
- Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A
- Height: 6′ (1.83 m)
- Alma mater Howard University (BFA), British American Drama Academy
- Occupation: Actor, producer
- Years active: 2003–2020
Chadwick Boseman initially gained recognition for his work as a stage actor, writer, and director, before transitioning to television, with appearances in series such as Lincoln Heights. He then made a splash on the big screen with his portrayal of two African American legends, baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42, and soul singer James Brown in Get on Up. Boseman later achieved worldwide fame for his portrayal of Black Panther in Marvel superhero films, including the box office hit Black Panther in early 2018.
In the mid-2000s, Boseman made a name for himself on television with guest appearances on crime dramas like Third Watch and CSI: NY, as well as on the soap opera All My Children. He was also part of the award-winning audio version of Kalisha Buckhanon’s 2005 novel Upstate, as one of the performers.
Boseman secured a recurring role as Nathaniel Ray on the ABC Family drama Lincoln Heights in 2008. The series was centered around a suburban family who moves to the urban neighborhood where the father grew up. Boseman appeared during the last two of its four seasons, while also making guest appearances on shows like ER, Lie to Me, The Glades, and Cold Case.
In 2008, Boseman was featured in Gary Fleder’s biographical sports drama “The Express,” which follows the life of football player Ernie Davis during the civil rights era at Syracuse University. Boseman played the role of Floyd Little, a fellow running back, alongside co-stars Rob Brown and Dennis Quaid.
In 2010, Boseman secured the prominent role of Muslim sergeant Graham McNair in the NBC summer thriller Persons Unknown. The series features a group of seven people who are kidnapped and held captive in a town by an unknown entity. Boseman went on to land guest appearances on various shows in 2011, including Justified, Detroit 1-8-7, Fringe, and Castle.
In 2012, Boseman starred as the lead in Mischa Webley’s film, The Kill Hole, depicting the story of an Iraq War veteran, who also works as a taxi driver in Portland, haunted by his past and recruited for a new mission by a private firm.
Boseman, who was baptized and raised Christian, remained faithful and involved in his church choir and youth group. According to his former pastor, he maintained his faith throughout his life. Boseman had expressed his desire to portray the Black Panther and had prayed for the opportunity, which he later got when he was cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, he was a vegetarian.
In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer, which later advanced to stage IV before 2020. Although he kept the cancer diagnosis private, news of his death was announced on August 28, 2020. Despite undergoing multiple surgeries and chemotherapy treatments, he continued working and finished filming for several movies, such as Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, among others. He passed away at home on August 28, 2020, due to complications associated with colon cancer, in the presence of his wife and family.
- All My Children
- Third Watch
- Law & Order
- CSI: NY
- Cold Case
- Lincoln Heights
- Lie to Me
- Persons Unknown
- The Glades
- Detroit 1-8-7
- Saturday Night Live
- As a playwright, his script for “Deep Azure,” performed at the Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois, was nominated for a 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work.
- A graduate of both Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford, England.
- Grew up in Anderson, S.C., where he excelled in basketball. At age 31, he still plays pick-up games, and also boxes.
- Denzel Washington paid for Chadwick Boseman’s tuition at Oxford University.
- Son of Carolyn (Mattress) and Leroy Boseman.
- After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in directing. He subsequently attended the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England.
- Attended the Schomburg Center for Research in Harlem, New York, studying African (and African American) history.
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2019 · Black Panther)
- MTV Movie Award for Best Hero (2018 · Black Panther)
- NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (2019 · Black Panther)
- BET Award for Best Actor (2018)