The death of Chadwick Boseman sent shockwaves across the world. However, what many were surprised to learn is that Boseman had been fighting colon cancer since 2016 and still delivering outstanding performances in blockbuster movies.
His inner circle is now speaking out about his battle and how he still managed to work.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, only a “very tight-knit group of friends and members of his team” were aware of his health status -- one of them being his trainer Addison Henderson.
Henderson, whose father beat cancer four times, said, "I used to tell Chad, 'Man, you remind me of my dad. You guys are fighters, and you never stop moving forward.' For us, it was just like, 'Let’s keep going, let’s keep doing what you want to do, let’s keep training.' And then, me and Logan [Coles, his producing partner] and his family, his wife [Taylor Simone Ledward], we were always just here to support him."
His longtime agent Michael Greene of Greene & Associates Talent Agency revealed it was at the advice of Chadwick’s mother to keep his health private.
"[She] always taught him not to have people fuss over him," Greene explained. "He also felt in this business that people trip out about things, and he was a very, very private person."
Greene revealed on the set of the upcoming Netflix film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom "he was really in hard-core pain" but "felt that being able to be with [co-star] Denzel [Washington] and to launch this cycle of [playwright] August Wilson at Netflix was so exciting to him."
Henderson said that through everything Boseman was going through, he helped him work on his first feature film, 2020’s G.O.D.
"He was tired but he came to Buffalo, where I shot my movie, and stayed for days with me, just to talk through stuff with me, just to be a good brother. He didn’t have to do that, he could have gone home and just rested. For me, that was just something that I’ll never forget."
Henderson also added, "Some people wait a lifetime to get the opportunity that he had. Chad had so much wisdom, so much knowledge, so much inside of him that he wasn’t going to let this disease stop him from telling these amazing stories and showing his art in the prime of his life."
Boseman tragically passed away August 28 at age 43.
The South Carolina native left his mark by playing some of the most iconic Black figures in history, including Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. He cemented his legacy playing the title role in the Ryan Coogler-directed Black Panther and the Marvel Cinematic Universe Avengers franchise.
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)