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*Chadwick Boseman was born on this date in 1976. He was a Black actor and director.
Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman. His DNA testing indicates that his ancestors were Krio people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba people from Nigeria, and Limba people from Sierra Leone. His mother was a nurse, and his father worked at a textile factory, also managing an upholstery business.
Boseman graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995. In his junior year, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed. Boseman graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. One of his teachers was Phylicia Rashad, who became a mentor. She and Denzel Washington helped raise funds so that Boseman and some classmates could attend the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London, to which they had been accepted.
Boseman wanted to write and direct and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors. After he returned to the U.S., he graduated from New York City's Digital Film Academy. He lived in Brooklyn at the start of his career. Boseman was a drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. In 2008, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Boseman got his first television role in 2003 in an episode of Third Watch. That same year, Boseman portrayed Reggie Montgomery in the daytime soap opera All My Children but stated that he was fired after voicing concerns to producers about racist stereotypes in the script.
He portrayed several real-life historical figures, such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017). He also played the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019) & Black Panther (2018), for which he won an NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Boseman's other film roles included 21 Bridges (2019) and Da 5 Bloods (2020).
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, eventually progressing to stage IV before 2020. Boseman had not spoken publicly about his cancer diagnosis. During treatment (multiple surgeries and chemotherapy), he continued to work and completed filming for several films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and others. Chadwick Boseman died at his home of complications related to colon cancer on August 28, 2020, with his wife and family by his side.