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Chadwick Boseman had been battling colon cancer since 2016, according to a family statement.

USA TODAY

Fans and friends are taking to social media to mourn the loss of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman.

Boseman, who died at age 43 after battling colon cancer for four years, had portrayed Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall in his film career. But he’s best known as “Black Panther” star T’Challa, Marvel’s groundbreaking Black superhero.

On Friday, tributes poured in for Boseman on social media. Reaction ranged from colleagues recalling what the actor was like in real life to fans commenting on the impact he had on their lives.

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Angela Bassett, his “Black Panther” co-star who played his mother, shared a tear-jerking tribute to her “sweet prince” on Instagram. The iconic actress, 62, posted a photo of her and Boseman from the set of “Black Panther” and revealed they were meant to be “family” as their story started in 2000. 

“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,” she wrote.

Bassett continued: “This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave.”

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“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! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.” #WakandaForever

A post shared by Angela Bassett (@im.angelabassett) on

Here’s what others are saying:

Whoopi Goldberg remembered him as “1 of my all time favorite people on the planet” and a “wonderful actor & a truly nice man.”

Oprah Winfrey tweeted, “What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries in chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like.”

“May you have a beautiful return, King,” filmmaker Ava DuVernay wrote. “We will miss you so.”

Josh Gad took to Twitter with one of the last exchanges he shared with Boseman. “This was one of my final texts from the brilliant & once-in-lifetime talent,@chadwickboseman – take this in & celebrate life. He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels.”

“Here’s to an incredible man with immeasurable talent, who leaned into life regardless of his personal battles,” Halle Berry wrote, sharing a photo of Boseman. “You never truly know what the people around you might be going through – treat them with kindness and cherish every minute you have together.”

“Truly a gentleman superstar on screen and in life,” Gabrielle Union tweeted. “Pure excellence and class and grace.”

“This is a crushing blow,” filmmaker Jordan Peele wrote.

“I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking,” wrote “Captain America” star Chris Evans along with two photos. “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.”

Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” wrote that she’s going to have to tell her children “that T’Challa has passed.” She asked, “What other king can I tell them about now?”

“What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning,” tweeted Hulk and co-star Mark Ruffalo. “It was the highest honor getting to work with you and getting to know you. What a generous and sincere human being.”

“The world will miss his tremendous talent,” tweeted Chris Pratt, another of Boseman’s Marvel co-stars. 

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Dave Bautista, also a Marvel colleague, tweeted the hashtag #WakandaForever with a photo of himself in a Black Panther shirt. 

“A true king,” Kerry Washington said about Boseman. “A warrior of light til the very end.”

“In power,” wrote filmmaker Barry Jenkins. “Eternally in power.”

“A deeply gifted man is gone too soon,” tweeted actor Mark Hamill  (who has encouragingly patted Boseman’s shoulder on TV). “His memory will blaze on fiercely … from here to eternity.”

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted that Boseman “inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes.”

Sen. Kamala Harris wrote that her friend Boseman was “brilliant, kind, learned, and humble.” She continued, with a picture of the two of them: “He left too early but his life made a difference.”

Cedric The Entertainer posted, “Rest in Power brother Chad!!” 

Actress Danielle Brooks called Boseman an “inspiration”  and “hero.”  

“Heartbreaking,” actress Uzo Aduba tweeted.

Ashton Kutcher thanked Boseman for “the gifts you gave to us while you were here.”

Ryan Reynolds tweeted, “Such a brutal loss.”

 Actress Melissa Fumero called Boseman one of her favorite actors. “This is crushingly sad,” she wrote.

“Truly humbling and so sad,” director Elizabeth Banks said.

Journalist Jemele Hill remembered positive interactions with Boseman. “Incredibly sweet guy. So humble and unassuming. Just really praying for his family and love ones,” she said.

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