Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, died on Friday of cancer. He was 43.

Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press news agency.

In a statement, his family said Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said.

“From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more – all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

Boseman had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis. He is survived by his wife and a parent and had no children,

His T’Challa character was first introduced to the blockbuster Marvel movies in 2016′s Captain America: Civil War, and his Wakanda Forever salute reverberated around the world after the release of Black Panther two years ago.

Black Panther, the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly African American cast, went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture.

The news of Boseman’s death has since prompted an outpouring of grief on social media.

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