Chadwick Boseman's inner circle speak out on his private cancer battle: 'He was just living his artistic life to the fullest'

By Heather Cichowski

Chadwick Boseman passed away on Aug. 28 after a private battle with colon cancer. The Black Panther star battled the disease for four years, and even filmed his iconic role as the lead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film after receiving his diagnosis for stage III colon cancer in 2016. The illness eventually progressed to stage IV.

Chadwick's co-stars and fans from across the world have paid tribute to the talented star after his untimely passing. His former colleagues and directors spoke about how Chadwick kept his cancer battle private, but a select group of people knew about it. This group included his longtime agent Michael Greene of Greene & Associates Talent Agency, his trainer Addison Henderson and his producing partner Logan Coles. They spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Chadwick's life and legacy.

MORE: In Memoriam: Celebrities who died in 2020

Addison opened up about how Chadwick reminded him of his father, a cancer survivor four times over. He used to tell the 21 Bridges actor this and provide him with support.

"He was just living his artistic life to the fullest and using his time and his moment to really affect people," Addison explained about how Chadwick soldiered on after his cancer diagnosis.

A special tribute to Chadwick Boseman was shown at the 2020 MTV VMAs on Aug. 28, 2020. The segment ended, "Rest in Power." Photo: © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

"Some people wait a lifetime to get the opportunity that he had," said Addison. "And 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."

Michael B. Jordan, one of Chadwick's Black Panther co-stars, penned an emotional tribute on Instagram to the late star.

"I wish we had more time," he kept repeating in an emotional post.

"Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever," the actor wrote. "But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most.

"You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here."

He ended the post, "I'm more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts.

Chadwick and Michael at the 2019 SAG Awards. Photo: © Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turner

"I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. 'Is this your king!?' Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother."

Fellow Marvel actress Danai Gurira posted an emotional Instagram tribute, too.

"How do you honour a king?" she began. "Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate. I always marveled at how special Chadwick was.

"Such a pure hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy. My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy.

"He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace. On many an occasion I would think how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with. A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation."

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