In a sorrowful yet oddly joyous moment, Chadwick Boseman was named the winner of the Lead Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama category at the 2021 Golden Globes. The nomination was his first, and sadly to be his only, from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., as the young actor tragically died last summer at just 43 years old, after a 4-year battle with colon cancer. Shortly after his passing, he lit up the screen as Levee, a gifted but troubled trumpet player in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the role he posthumously won for.
In his absence, his wife and longtime love Taylor Simone Ledward accepted the award on his behalf from her home. Through tears, she tried to give a voice to her husband and say what she thought he would say if he were still with us. “He would thank God,” she said. “He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and sacrifices.” She went on to thank members of his team, both on his personal team and the team that worked with him on the Netflix film.
As she spoke, she continued to break, and it was clear her words had an affect on others as well. She thanked his fellow Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-stars, like Viola Davis, who was also seen crying from her own home. She then added, “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice that tells you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” She ended with a note to her man: “Hun, you keep’s coming.”
— Variety (@Variety) March 1, 2021
When Chadwick passed away in August 2020, it was revealed in the family’s official statement that Taylor Simone was with him “by his side,” along with his family when he died. Though he never publicly revealed his battle, Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016. Chadwick and Taylor Simone were equally private about their relationship. They were very infrequently seen out together, their last red carpet appearance was in Nov. 2019 at the premiere of Chadwick’s film 21 Bridges in New York City.
Chadwick starred in eight films during his 4 year battle with cancer, including Ma Rainey, Da 5 Bloods, and Marshall. He also starred as T’Challa in the final Avengers films, and the stand alone, Black Panther.