The late actor, who died at the age of 43 in August 2020, was nominated for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — the last film he appeared in before he succumbed to cancer. He played Levee in the film, in which he starred alongside Viola Davis. His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf, delivering a moving speech about the South Carolina native.
“He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors,” Ledward said through tears. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that amplifies that little voice inside of all of us.”
Boseman’s widow added, “I don’t have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love.” She thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press for allowing her and those close to the late actor to “do just that.”
Boseman was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama category on February 3. He was up against Riz Ahmed, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and Tahar Rahim. The nomination marked Boseman’s first, though he was nominated for and won several other accolades during his lifetime including a Screen Actors Guild Award and an NAACP Image Award in 2019. Boseman was posthumously nominated for a Gotham Award and a Film Independent Spirit Award too.
The Black Panther actor kept his cancer diagnosis a secret while working as an actor. His publicist confirmed to Us Weekly that Boseman battled the disease for years before his death, progressing from stage III colon cancer in 2016 to stage IV before he died.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm that passing of Chadwick Bosemen,” read a statement released in August 2020 about the actor’s death. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife, [Taylor Simone Ledward], and family by his side.”