Three months after his passing, fans are celebrating the life and career of the late, great Chadwick Boseman on what would have been his 44th birthday. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer, though he chose to continue working while keeping his condition private. Word of his cancer was made public near the end of August when Boseman died due to complications related to the illness. Fans all across the world have been mourning the loss ever since, and on the day he would have turned 44, even more tribute posts and messages are coming in.
"Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman would have been 44 today," one tweet reads. "My heart is still, so broken over his early departure in life. Happy birthday. Rest easy King."
"Today is an unofficial day that celebrates the life and works of actor Chadwick Boseman," another tweet states, adding a photo of Boseman with the words Chadwick Boseman Day. "He was the first African American lead actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sadly, Boseman passed away from colon cancer. Watch a movie in his honor today!"
Says another fan, "On what would have been his 44th birthday I remember my favorite actor with sadness in my heart. I so wish he was still here. Happy birthday, Chadwick Boseman."
"I knew I was feeling sad for a reason," writes a fan. "It would've been Chadwick Boseman's 44th birthday. I'm literally still hurt, he was and forever will be my favorite actor. Like I'll never get over it. Fly high."
Many fans have also noticed that Disney paid homage to Boseman by updating the Marvel Studios intro for Black Panther on Disney+. The intro focuses specifically on Boseman and his role as T'Challa, splicing together clips from the actor in a video that fans are sharing on social media. "This is such a beautiful tribute," one fan notes while sharing the video.
While Black Panther may be Boseman's most popular role, fans are celebrating his legacy by also acknowledging his many other acclaimed performances. That includes his starring role as Jackie Robinson in the biopic 42, which served as his breakout role in 2013. He is also well known for his roles as James Brown in Get on Up, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, Andre Davis in 21 Bridges, and Stormin' Norm in Spike Lee's war drama Da 5 Bloods.
Boseman's final role can be seen posthumously in George C. Wolfe's drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Focusing on a fateful recording session of "mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey in the 1920s, the movie also stars Viola Davis, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, and Colman Domingo. Boseman is already up for a Best Actor award at the Gotham Awards for the role, and there's early talk about the part putting him up for Best Actor at the Oscars as well. The movie is scheduled to be released on Netflix on Dec. 18.
It's clear that Boseman was very loved by his fans and colleagues, and the pain of his passing continues to sting for many. He may be gone, but he'll definitely never be forgotten. May he rest in peace.