Chadwick Boseman

A charismatic performer with an easy Everyman presence, Chadwick Boseman paid his acting dues for a full decade before taking the spotlight with his starring turn in the Jackie Robinson biopic "42" (2013). With strong roots in theater, Boseman made a name for himself as a stage actor, director and playwright prior to landing notable screen roles. In 2003, he began appearing on television in one-off guest spots on various procedural dramas before joining the cast of the drama "Lincoln Heights" (ABC Family, 2007-09) as recurring character Nate Ray Taylor. Boseman subsequently found a regular part on the mysterious thriller series "Persons Unknown" (NBC, 2010), but the show was quickly cancelled. A starring role in the little-seen action movie "The Kill Hole" (2012) followed, but Boseman bounced back from this relative disappointment with the lead in Brian Helgeland's historical baseball drama "42," a film that placed him squarely on the Hollywood map. Performances as James Brown in the biopic "Get On Up" (2014) and in the blockbusters "Gods of Egypt" (2016) and "Captain America: Civil War" (2016) maintained his standing as one of Hollywood's hottest young actors before his title performance in the blockbuster "Black Panther" (2018) made him an international superstar. Born in South Carolina, Chadwick Boseman gravitated towards the theater in his youth, going on to attend both Howard University in Washington, D.C. and the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford, England. Establishing himself as a notable up-and-comer in African-American-centric theater productions, a number of which he wrote and directed, Boseman eventually set his sights on screen acting. Starting out in brief guest roles on procedural dramas such as "Third Watch" (NBC, 1999-2005) and "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), he finally garnered more notable parts in 2008, with a supporting role in the football movie "The Express" and an extended arc on the family drama "Lincoln Heights," where he played a troubled young war vet. Boseman was seemingly on the verge on his big break when he was cast as the key character of another military vet, Sergeant Graham McNair, in Christopher McQuarrie's high-concept mystery series "Persons Unknown" (NBC, 2010). Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after 13 episodes, leaving him to return to one-off appearances on various television dramas, including fan-favorite fare such as "Fringe" (Fox, 2008-2013) and "Justified" (FX, 2010-15). Following a featured turn in the widely panned low-budget action film "The Kill Hole" (2012), Boseman's fortunes changed considerably. Veteran Hollywood writer/director Brian Helgeland tapped Boseman to play the main role of pioneering baseball player Jackie Robinson in the hit drama "42," a production that not only led to immediate recognition for his determined performance, but also found him acting alongside film icon Harrison Ford. After playing another athlete opposite Kevin Costner in Ivan Reitman's "Draft Day" (2014), Boseman took on the task of portraying another influential black figure of the 20th century in the James Brown biopic "Get On Up" (2014). Boseman next appeared in Alex Proyas' Biblical epic "Gods of Egypt" and as the superhero Black Panther in "Captain America: Civil War" (2016) before gearing up for starring roles as Thurgood Marshall in "Marshall" (2016) and in his own superhero action fest, "Black Panther" (2018), which was a massive critical and commercial success upon its February 2018 release. Boseman returned to the role later that year in "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018). He next starred in the action thriller "21 Bridges" (2019) and appeared in Spike Lee's Vietnam drama "Da 5 Bloods" (2020). Chadwick Boseman died at his home in Los Angeles on August 28, 2020 at the age of 43, following a four-year battle with colon cancer. His final film role was in the posthumous "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," which he completed in 2019.