Chadwick Boseman: Black Panther star dies of cancer aged 43

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Since his untimely death last year, Chadwick Boseman has received many posthumous awards for his talent and it was no different at this year’s Critics’ Choice Awards. His widow Taylor Simone Ledward gave yet another poignant speech as she accepted her late husband’s award for Best Actor at the virtual ceremony where she appeared from her home.

It is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments

Taylor Simone Ledward

But as she honoured the Black Panther star’s memory by expressing how deserving he was for the award, she confessed it was hard to celebrate the win without him.

Speaking via video call, she said: “It has to be said aloud that for those of us who know Chad, intimately, emotionally, professionally, those he taught, those he gave a word of advice, those who taught him – it is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments.

“As proud as we are of him, yes for his work, but even more just for who he is as a person.

“But his work deserves this, he deserves this and so, he would always thank God first and foremost in everything.”

Her raw emotion was felt by viewers, who took to Twitter to share their heartbreak for his family.

“Such grace in such a joyful yet clearly painful moment. May God strengthen and heal her #ChadwickBoseman,” one prayed.

Another cried: “I didn’t even make it 20 seconds without getting emotional. What a loss for humanity – he’s still making an impact on the world from a spiritual realm.”

“#TaylorSimoneLedward accepted her husband’s award with such grace and courage. Chad is looking down on you with love and pride. Let’s continue to lift his Queen up in prayer through this time of grief,” a third applauded her courage.

A fourth said: “That was tough to watch. She’s been through a lot. Great actor that was just beginning.”

“What a strong woman. She had to dress up and accept this award on behalf of him and she did it so beautifully,” a fifth praised.

A sixth admitted: “I just hysterically cried watching her give that speech. That must have been incredibly difficult for her to do. Many blessings to her.”

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Ben Affleck (The Way Back), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Tom Hanks (News of the World), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Gary Oldman (Mank) and Steven Yeun (Minari) were all nominated alongside Boseman.

Ledward also accepted the same award on her late husband’s behalf last Sunday at the 2021 Golden Globes.

The actor won the same category for his performance as trumpet player Levee, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, his final on-screen project.

She said in her speech: “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and sacrifices,” she said. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring.

“I don’t have his words but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love.”

News of Boseman’s death shocked the world after it was revealed he had been secretly battling colon cancer for four years prior to his passing.

He died at his home in Los Angeles with his wife and family by his side, a statement posted on social media said.

Boseman is also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

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