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Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman secretly married his wife Taylor Simone Ledward before his death, it has been reported.
The actor passed away at home in Los Angeles after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. His beloved wife was at his bedside alongside close family.
Chadwick had asked Taylor, a singer who graduated from California State Polytechnic University, to marry him in October last year and the pair are thought to have said their vows in a private ceremony before the actor’s cancer advanced.
They kept much of their early relationship secret, before allowing themselves to be pictured together at award ceremonies and red carpet premiers.
He was diagnosed with the cancer a year into their relationship, and battled it with Taylor by his side. In March last year he spoke about their romance for the first time at the 50th NAACP Image Awards, saying: ‘Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you.’
When the cameras panned to her, she could be seen mouthing back the words ‘I love you’.
The actor’s death at the age of 43 was reported yesterday. He leaves behind his wife and close family members. The couple have no children.
Chadwick Boseman secretly married long-term girlfriend Taylor Simone Ledward shortly before his death, it has been reported. The pair are thought to have got engaged in October last year. They are pictured together in January last year at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles
Boseman is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward (pictured) and a parent and had no children. The couple was last seen together at the 69th NBA All-Star Game (right) in Chicago in February. Their marriage was not publicly reported until his death
The pair were seen together attending talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2017 (left). Taylor’s grandmother confirmed that the couple were ‘very happy together’ the following year
Chadwick and Taylor attend a basketball game at the Staples Center in October 2019 shortly after he is thought to have popepd the question while they were on a romantic holiday
Taylor and Chadwick pictured attending the Academy Awards ceremony together last year
Who is Taylor Simone Ledward?
Taylor Simone Ledward is a singer, who graduated from California State University with a Music Industry Studies degree in 2014.
She was lead singer of the school’s jazz band during her studies.
Her professional SoundCloud and Facebook pages have since been deleted.
According to LinkedIn, she also worked for American eectronic music event promoter Insomniac Events.
Her Instagram profile description has a line from Hamlet reading ‘To Thine Self Be True’.
Their budding romance was first confirmed in 2015, when the pair were spotted together by paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport.
She was then seen with him again in 2017 as a guest on US talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and by 2018 she was regularly joining him at star-studded premieres including Black Panther and 21 Bridges.
Taylor’s grandmother confirmed the pair were ‘very happy’ together when she spoke to InTouch Weekly in April 2018. ‘They respect each other,’ she said. ‘She’s very happy, and he is, too.’
Ledward’s sister once commented on Instagram to say the couple ’embody true love’.
Writing underneath an image of Boseman with co-star Lupita Nyong’o. she wrote: ‘His real life queen is gorgeous, and together they embody true love. Not to mention they would make some beautiful babies.’
She joined him throughout the awards season in 2019, as he toured following his performance in blockbuster movie Black Panther.
Chadwick is thought to have finally popped the question in October 2019 during a date night in Malibu. ‘Chadwick and Simone got engaged. It was a long time coming and everyone is really happy,’ a source told Gossip blog MediaTakeOut.
The last time they were seen together was in February this year when they watched the NBA All Star Game in Chicago, and appeared to be in good spirits as they laughed and joked together.
Chadwick’s shocking death comes just ten months after the pair are understood to have become engaged, with the wedding ceremony thought to have taken place recently. The couple were reportedly planning to tie the knot with a ‘2020’ wedding.
Announcing Boseman’s death, the family said in a statement: ‘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.’
Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died at age 43 after private four-year battle with colon cancer, his family said
His family confirmed his passing in a statement on social media on Friday, saying the actor had been diagnosed with stage III cancer in 2016 which later progressed to stage IV
Boseman’s 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 African-American cast. (Pictured during the film’s premiere in London)
One of the last pictures on Chadwick Boseman’s Instagram was of him and Democrat vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris
WHAT IS COLON CANCER?
Colon cancer is a cancer of the large intestine (the colon).
Usually, it starts with polyps, which are small clumps of cells.
Gastroenterologists can see them in a colonoscopy because they are raised off the surface of the colon like a mole.
- Blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
- Stomach cramps
- Persistant gas
- Never feeling like you have emptied your bowels
- Weight loss
- Change in bowel habits that persists for more than a month
People with stage 1 tumors have a survival rate (living five years or more) of 80-95 percent.
At stage 2, the survival rate is 55 to 80 percent.
At stage 3, it’s about 40 percent, and at stage 4 it’s about 10 percent.
‘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.
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 African-American cast.
The film went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. It won three Academy Awards – in the best original score, best costume design and best production design categories.
Boseman originated the Black Panther film role two years earlier in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, and reprised the part twice more in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
He shrugged off doubters who tried to convince him not to give the superhero an African accent, saying: ‘There was a time period where people would ask me questions about whether or not an audience could sit through a movie with a lead character that spoke with that accent. I became adamant about the fact that it’s not true.’
Bosewick (pictured left with Marvel creator Stan Lee in 2018) found fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe. Marvel Studios reacted to Boseman’s death in a tweet on Friday saying: ‘Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family’
He took on his first producing job in last year’s action thriller ’21 Bridges’ (pictured) in which he also starred
Boseman had not spoken publicly about his cancer diagnosis, but had sparked concerns over health earlier this year after fans took note of his unusually thin appearance (pictured left in April, and right in May)
Black Panther went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars. Above the cast is seen accepting the award for Best Cast In A Motion Picture during the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2019
News of Boseman’s death came on the day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson Day.
The holiday is usually observed on April 15, but the celebration was moved to August 28 to accommodate the COVID-19-altered schedule.
Boseman had shared an Instagram post at the time saying he was celebrating with the launch of Operation 42, an initiative donating $4.2million in personal protective equipment to hospitals servicing African American communities at the peak of the pandemic.
‘Thank you, Jackie, for refusing to accept the world as it is, for showing us that we can make a difference,’ Boseman said.
The post, which included a video of the actor wearing a ’42’ baseball cap, had sparked concerns among fans who pointed out that he had grown noticeably thin.
In June, Boseman joined more than 300 black actors and filmmakers who signed an open letter urging Hollywood to steer away from entertainment glorifying police brutality and corruption and to invest in anti-racist content.
The letter was written in the midst of a cultural and political reckoning with systematic racism in the United States in the wake of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis.
Avengers: Endgame co-star Brie Larson paid tribute to Boseman in a touching Instagram post remembering the star as ‘someone who radiated power and peace’
Many of Boseman’s co-stars in the Marvel movie franchises including Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans, paid tribute to the actor on social media on Friday
Alongside a picture of him and Boseman, Chris Hemsworth said: ‘Gonna miss you mate. Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met’
A real life superhero: How Chadwick Boseman became a megastar filming grueling Black Panther and Avengers movies all while battling colon cancer and in and out of surgery and chemotherapy
Chadwick Boseman was famous for playing the titular role of Black Panther in the Marvel franchise – but while he was fighting villains on screen, he was fighting a very real battle in his personal life.
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016. But the actor never publicly discussed his condition and continued to work on major Hollywood films during his battle with the deadly disease.
The family revealed many of Boseman’s films, including Black Panther, Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.’
Boseman had not spoken about his diagnosis, but had sparked concerns over health earlier this year after fans took note of his unusually thin appearance.
He became the first black superhero to get his own standalone film in the record-breaking Marvel franchise with 2018’s ‘Black Panther.’
Chadwick Boseman was famous for playing the titular role of Black Panther in the Marvel franchise
Boseman also appeared as Black Panther in 2018’s Marvel’s Avenger’s: Infinity War
The actor had been known for playing real-life figures, including James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up (pictured)
Boseman first appeared as the character in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War when he joined Marvel and signed up to become part of the Marvel Universe franchise.
Sadly, not long after appearing in the film, he received his devastating diagnosis.
But that did not stop the star from appearing in multiple movies – despite film sets’ notoriously long shooting days and tough working schedules.
For his biggest role, Black Panther, the star trained rigorously to get in shape and learned Angolan capoeira, Dambe boxing, Zulu stick fighting, karate, kung-fu and jiu-jitsu for the role and its many fight scenes.
In March 2017, while shooting the movie, his costar Andy Serkis described the gruelling big chase sequence, filmed in Busan, South Korea.
More than 700 crew members and 150 vehicles were gathered to film Boseman’s T’Challa pursue Serkis’ evil arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, who he brings down with a knee to the chest.
‘It was a night shoot and the very, very first take he kneed me so hard in the chest, ’cause he couldn’t really see with his mask on,’ Serkis recalled. ‘I felt like he had broken my ribs in that very first take.’
The family revealed many of Boseman’s films, including Black Panther, Marshall, Da 5 Bloods (pictured) , and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy’
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
They shot the scene at least 30 times, according to Serkis, who said Boseman – who was still battling cancer at the time – gave incredible energy and performance each time.
When he wasn’t filming, the star also 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.
Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. His striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Jackie Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013´s ’42’ drew attention in Hollywood and made him a star. He also starred in James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up the following year.
Boseman died on a day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson day. ‘His transcendent performance in ’42’ will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie´s story to audiences for generations to come,’ the league wrote in a tweet.
He first played Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, before the character headlined a hugely successful blockbuster in 2018.
The film’s vision of Afrofuturism and the technologically advanced civilization of Wakanda resonated with audiences, some of whom wore African attire to showings and helped propel ‘Black Panther’ to more than $1.3billion in global box office. It is the only Marvel Studios film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination.
The character was last seen standing silently dressed in a black suit at Tony Stark’s funeral in last year’s ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ A ‘Black Panther’ sequel had been announced, and was one of the studio’s most anticipated upcoming films.
Boseman’s striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Jackie Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013’s ’42’ (pictured) drew attention in Hollywood and made him a star
In addition to Robinson and Brown, Boseman portrayed the future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s ‘Marshall.’ He humanized the larger-than-life historical figures with the same quiet dignity – interrupted by flashes of sparkling wit – that he would later bring to T’Challa.
He took on his first producing job in last year’s action thriller ’21 Bridges,’ in which he also starred, and was last seen on-screen in Spike Lee´s film ‘Da 5 Bloods’ as the leader of a group of Black soldiers in the Vietnam War.
It took some time for Boseman’s moment to come. He first got into theater, acting and writing plays as an undergrad at Howard. Boseman had roles on TV shows like ABC Family´s ‘Lincoln Heights’ and NBC´s ‘Persons Unknown,’ but before ’42’ he had only acted in one film, 2008´s football drama ‘The Express.’ Boseman attracted notice, but missed out on big parts.
‘2011 was a rough year,’ he said. ‘I was up for everything that was happening that year, really good roles. I would get down to the end and then it would go to someone else.’
Boseman completed one last performance, in an adaptation of August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ The Netflix film, in which Boseman stars alongside Viola Davis, finished shooting last summer.
Asked about his own childhood heroes and icons, Boseman cited Black political leaders and musicians: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Marley, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and Prince. Deeply private and often guarded in his public appearances and interviews, he made clear that he understood the significance of his work and its impact on the broader culture.
Even at the outset of his Hollywood career, Boseman was clear-eyed about – and even skeptical of – the industry in which he would become an international star.
‘You don’t have the same exact experience as a Black actor as you do as a white actor. You don’t have the same opportunities. That’s evident and true,’ he told AP while promoting 42.
‘The best way to put it is: How often do you see a movie about a black hero who has a love story … he has a spirituality. He has an intellect. It’s weird to say it, but it doesn’t happen that often.’
He took on his first producing job in last year’s action thriller ’21 Bridges,’ in which he also starred, and was last seen on-screen in Spike Lee’s film Da 5 Bloods as the leader of a group of Black soldiers in the Vietnam War.
Boseman completed one last performance, in an adaptation of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The Netflix film, in which Boseman stars alongside Viola Davis, finished shooting last summer.
Following the shock news of his death, tributes to Boseman poured in from across the entertainment industry on social media.
Marvel Studios released a statement on his passing on Twitter saying: ‘Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace.’
‘This is a crushing blow’, actor and director Jordan Peele tweeted. ‘This broke me,’ said actor and writer Issa Rae.
Marvel co-star Chris Evans paid tribute to his friend in a poignant tweet saying: I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original.
‘He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist.He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King.’
Marvel stars Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Brie Larson and Don Cheadle also paid tribute.
Alongside a picture of them together, Cheadle posted, ‘I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god … forever and ever …’
In his tribute, Marvel chief Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the extraordinarily successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, called Chadwick’s passing ‘absolutely devastating.’ A
‘He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible,’ Feige said.
‘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. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.’
HOLLYWOOD STARS AND POLITICIANS PAY TRIBUTE TO ‘GIFTED’ AND ‘HUMBLE’ CHADWICK BOSEMAN AFTER ACTOR LOSES SECRET FOUR-YEAR BATTLE WITH CANCER AT AGE 43
News of Chadwick Boseman’s death sent shockwaves through Hollywood on Friday after the actor had kept his four-year battle with stage III colon cancer private.
Several of his recent films including Black Panther, Da 5 Bloods, and Avengers: Endgame, were all filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy,’ the family said.
Tributes to Boseman poured in from across a reeling Hollywood, with many of his fellow Marvel stars including Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Don Cheadle, expressing grief and shock.
Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, praised Boseman’s impact, saying his portrayal of Black Panther ‘inspired generations.’
Biden added he and wife Jill were praying for Boseman’s loved ones. His running mate, Kamala Harris, also paid tribute.
Boseman’s final tweet and Instagram post was a picture of himself alongside Harris, congratulating her on the nomination. Harris on Friday shared a post paying tribute to her ‘brilliant, kind, humble’ friend.
Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, praised Boseman’s impact, saying his portrayal of Black Panther ‘inspired generations’
Weeks before his death, Boseman shared a photo with Kamala Harris endorsing the Democratic vice presidential candidate. Harris on Friday shared a post paying tribute to her ‘brilliant, kind, humble’ friend
Heartfelt: Oprah Winfrey took to Twitter shortly after news broke to post a heartfelt tribute to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. ‘What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like,’ she wrote
The queen: Angela 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’
Captain America, himself, Chris Evans, uploaded a slew of photos of himself and Chadwick to his Instagram and reflected on their time working together. The actor said Boseman was a ‘true original’
Alongside a picture of them together, Cheadle posted ‘I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god … forever and ever …’
Mark Ruffalo shared a follow-up tweet calling Boseman a ‘generous and sincere human being.’ ‘It was the highest honor getting to work with you,’ he said
Crushing: ‘This is a crushing blow,’ wrote Get Out director Jordan Peele on Twitter, mere minutes after the actor’s passing was confirmed
Jennifer Garner called the actor’s death this year ‘specifically painful’
‘No words to express my devastation of losing you,’ actress Viola Davis tweeted
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson thanked Boseman for shining his light and sharing his talent with the world
Ryan Reynolds called the star’s death a ‘brutal loss’
NBA star Lebron James shared a photo of himself alongside Boseman, saying ‘Rest in Paradise King! #TheHellWith2020 #FCancer’
Chance the Rapper shared a photo of his family posing alongside Boseman, saying: ‘We love you man’