Remembering Chadwick Boseman through his most iconic performances

Chadwick Boseman
(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

The feeling of immense loss can still be felt months later since Chadwick Boseman passed away from cancer. It still feels weird to refer to him in the past tense—we loss an amazing talent, but most heartbreaking, a phenomenal person. Chadwick Boseman received a posthumous Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture for his role as a talented jazz musician in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Simone Ledward Boseman accepted the award on behalf of her late husband with a poignant and loving speech.

We must continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman. He may not be with us, but his kind yet tenacious spirit lives on and will forever be immortalized in the lives he touched through his on-screen performances. 

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)

After watching Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, you’ll understand precisely why Chadwick Boseman was awarded the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture. He played the role of Levee, a trumpeter in Ma Rainey’s band. Levee is ambitious and determined to stake his own claim on the music industry. The movie follows him, his bandmates, and Ma Rainey on a day that will forever change the course of their lives. 

42 (2013)

There are some historical inaccuracies in 42 but what isn’t inaccurate is the performance Chadwick Boseman gives in his portrayal of Jackie Robinson - the first black athlete to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the modern era. 

Get on Up (2014)

Get on Up is a biographical musical drama movie about the life of singer James Brown. Chadwick Boseman stars as the progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music dance, he is often referred to by the honorific nicknames like Godfather of Soul. Get on Up uses a nonlinear narrative, following James Brown's stream of consciousness. He asynchronously recalls events from his life, occasionally breaking the fourth wall to address the audience. 

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Da 5 Bloods is Chadwick Boseman’s final film, released in his lifetime before his death. It’s a war drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Spike Lee. Da 5 Bloods follows a group of four aging Vietnam War veterans who return to the country in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader, as well as the treasure they buried while serving there. 

Black Panther (2018)

Chadick Boseman has a knack for playing larger-than-life legends. Although T’Challa is a fictional comic character, Boseman brought him to life in a way that people will talk about for years to come. Black Panther is more than just another superhero movie thanks to Boseman’s quiet brilliance as a young prince thrust into becoming a king of his home country, Wakanda, after his father's unexpected passing, King T’Chaka. Black Panther grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and broke numerous box office records, including the highest-grossing film by a black director, Ryan Coogler.