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    Chadwick Boseman hailed as ‘trooper’ by Spike Lee who reveals he had NO idea the late actor was battling cancer as he directed him in Da 5 Bloods

    Chadwick Boseman has been hailed a ‘trooper’ by Spike Lee, who reveals was unaware the late star was battling cancer as he directed him in one of his final films.

    Fans were shocked as they learned of the Black Panther star’s death at the age of 43 on Friday night, following a secret four-year battle with colon cancer.

    And filmmaker Spike, 63, recalled working with the late actor last year on the Vietnam War film Da 5 Bloods as he hosted his annual Brooklyn ♥ MJ block party online to mark late singer Michael Jackson’s 62nd birthday on Saturday.

    Tribute: Chadwick Boseman, left, has been hailed a ‘trooper’ by Spike Lee, right, who had no idea the star was battling cancer as he directed him in one of his final films. Pictured in 2019

    Dedicating Michael Jackson’s classic 1991 track Gone Too Soon to Boseman, he said: ‘We filmed Da 5 Bloods in Thailand, and it was hot, jungles, mountains, and Chadwick was there with us all the way.

    ‘I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong. No one knew he was going through treatment, chemotherapy.’

    He continued: ‘Chadwick, a trooper, never complained. He was there every single minute in the moment.

    Movie: Spike recalled working with the late actor last year on the Vietnam War film Da 5 Bloods

    Movie: Spike recalled working with the late actor last year on the Vietnam War film Da 5 Bloods

    ‘And his performance is a testament to what he put into that role, and all his roles. We miss you, Chadwick, we’re going to celebrate your life.’

    Spike also paid tribute to the actor on his Instagram account, sharing a series of heartfelt posts, one of which included a deleted scene from Netlfix film Da 5 Bloods that featured Boseman singing Marvin Gaye’s God Is Love. 

    ‘That scene got me when we were shooting it,’ the filmmaker said. ‘Watching that again this morning just tore me up.’

    Boseman’s Black Panther costars have also paid tribute to the late actor, who won acclaim for his role as King T’Challa in Marvel’s revolutionary superhero film. 

    Unaware: Spike said of the actor, 'I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong. No one knew he was going through treatment, chemotherapy.' Pictured together in 2013

    Unaware: Spike said of the actor, ‘I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong. No one knew he was going through treatment, chemotherapy.’ Pictured together in 2013

    Angela Bassett, who played T’Challa’s mother Ramonda, reflected on her ‘full circle’ friendship with the tragic screen star.  

    As she reflected on her on-screen son, the actress revealed they first met when he was a student at Howard University and she was receiving an honorary degree.

    The award-winning actress, 62, wrote on Instagram: ‘It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther.

    ‘During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something.

    ‘He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever!’ 

    Working through it: Boseman's family revealed that a number of his films, including Da 5 Bloods (pictured) were filmed 'during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy'

    Working through it: Boseman’s family revealed that a number of his films, including Da 5 Bloods (pictured) were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy’

    ‘I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience,’ she continued. ‘This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal.’

    She also noted that Boseman had a ‘beautiful spirit’ and was a ‘consummate artist’ and ‘soulful brother.’ 

    ‘Thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…’. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.’ #WakandaForever,’ the the mother-of-two concluded.  

    In response to the devastating news, Sterling K. Brown also reflected on Boseman, who he starred alongside in for Black Panther and the 2017 film Marshall.  

    ‘I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed,’ the This Is Us star, 44, tweeted on Friday night. 

    In memory: Boseman's Black Panther costars have paid tribute to the late actor, who won acclaim for his role as King T'Challa in Marvel's revolutionary superhero film; seen in 2019

    In memory: Boseman’s Black Panther costars have paid tribute to the late actor, who won acclaim for his role as King T’Challa in Marvel’s revolutionary superhero film; seen in 2019

    'Full circle' friendship: Angela Bassett, who played T'Challa's mother Ramonda, reflected on her 'full circle' friendship with the 43-year-old star (seen in 2018)

    ‘Full circle’ friendship: Angela Bassett, who played T’Challa’s mother Ramonda, reflected on her ‘full circle’ friendship with the 43-year-old star (seen in 2018)

    Additionally, Forest Whitaker, who played Zuri in the 2018 superhero film, took to Twitter to say Boseman’s light ‘brightened our days.’

    ‘It will continue to brighten our hearts and minds. Let the heavens be blessed as you illuminate the sky. Sending my love and prayers to the family. May god continue to hold you in his everlasting embrace. RIP Chadwick,’ the 59-year-old actor tweeted.  

    Black Panther star, Andy Serkis, also reacted to Boseman’s death, calling the loss ‘inconceivable.’

    ‘This world needs you, perhaps more than ever,’ Serkis said in a statement. ‘Your quiet steel and raging fire beautifully tempered by the fact that you are an honorable, generous, humble human being.’

    The queen: Bassett, who portrayed Chadwick's mother/the queen in Black Panther, wrote on Instagram that 'it was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family'

    The queen: Bassett, who portrayed Chadwick’s mother/the queen in Black Panther, wrote on Instagram that ‘it was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family’

    ‘A natural leader who eloquently and passionately seeks and stands for truth, whose art and life will shine as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come,’ he continued. ‘Peace and love to you, and to your family.’

    And Black Panther costar Martin Freeman, who recently confirmed his participation in the now unpredictable sequel, told Rolling Stone: ‘I’m absolutely shocked.

    ‘Chadwick was thoughtful, watchful, and totally committed in his work. A boyish grin and a contagious laugh. To still do what he did, when he must have been going through some terrible physical and emotional pain, is testament to the man.

    ‘My heartfelt condolences to his family and those he loved. Rest in Peace brother.’ 

    RIP: In response to the devastating news, Sterling K. Brown also reflected on Boseman, who he starred alongside in Black Panther and the 2017 film Marshall

    RIP: In response to the devastating news, Sterling K. Brown also reflected on Boseman, who he starred alongside in Black Panther and the 2017 film Marshall

    Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told People that Boseman’s death was ‘absolutely devastating.’ 

    ‘He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life.

    ‘He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages,’ he told the outlet. 

    Feige’s co-president Louis D’Esposito expressed feeling ‘crushed’ and said Marvel ‘lost a true superhero and friend.’  

    Heartbreaking: Additionally, Forest Whitaker, who played Zuri in the 2018 American superhero film, took to Twitter to say Boseman's light 'brightened our days'

    Heartbreaking: Additionally, Forest Whitaker, who played Zuri in the 2018 American superhero film, took to Twitter to say Boseman’s light ‘brightened our days’

    Crushed: Feige's co-president Louis D'Esposito expressed feeling 'crushed' and said Marvel 'lost a true superhero and friend.'

    Crushed: Feige’s co-president Louis D’Esposito expressed feeling ‘crushed’ and said Marvel ‘lost a true superhero and friend.’

    The actor passed away at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side. They did not specify when he died.

    ‘It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,’ the family said. 

    ‘A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.’ 

    The family revealed several of Boseman’s recent films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.’

    Mourning: Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told People that Boseman's death was 'absolutely devastating'

    Mourning: Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told People that Boseman’s death was ‘absolutely devastating’

    ‘It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,’ the statement said. ‘The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.’

    Boseman is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward and a parent and had no children, his publicist said. The actor had kept his diagnosis and much of his personal life under wraps.

    He had been reported to be dating Ledward after the pair were spotted together on the red carpet at the 2019 SAG awards, but his marriage was not reported until his death.

    The couple was last seen together in February at the 69th NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.

    The star: Chadwick Boseman played the titular role of Black Panther in the Marvel franchise

    The star: Chadwick Boseman played the titular role of Black Panther in the Marvel franchise

    Boseman had not spoken publicly about his cancer diagnosis, but had sparked concerns over his health earlier this year after fans took note of his unusually thin appearance. 

    Born in South Carolina the son of a nurse and an upholstery entrepreneur, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. He has roots in the West African country Sierra Leone.

    The actor had been known for playing real-life figures, including professional baseball player Jackie Robinson in 2013 biopic, 42, James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s Marshall.

    But his most memorable role was his 2018 performance as T’Challa, king of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda and the crime fighter known as Black Panther, in the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly Black cast. 

    Touching: Boseman had paid a visit to children's hospital St Jude's to visit children suffering from cancer - something he was sadly all too familiar with at the time

    Touching: Boseman had paid a visit to children’s hospital St Jude’s to visit children suffering from cancer – something he was sadly all too familiar with at the time

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