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Chadwick Boseman: Courageous Nerd Hall of Fame

by Conor O'Brien

Actor Chadwick Boseman is the September 2020 inductee for the Courageous Nerd Hall of Fame. Boseman recently passed away at 43 years of age, due to a four-year battle with colon cancer.

Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born in Anderson, South Carolina on November 29, 1976. In 1995, he graduated from T.L Hanna High School, located in Anderson. Chadwick Boseman was also college-educated, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Howard University in 2000. Before becoming a professional actor, he had worked as a teacher.

In 2003, Boseman began his acting career on soap opera All My Children, where he played a recurring character named “Reggie Porter”. The following year, Boseman guested on Law and Order. Small roles in other police procedural series followed. This included Cold Case, CSI: NY and Lie To Me as well as long-running ER.

After building up these minor appearances, Boseman starred in his first major television role during 2010. On the one-season serial drama Persons Unknown, Boseman portrayed Sergeant Graham McNair. The character was a Marine, mercenary, and devout Muslim who was abducted alongside a group of strangers and subsequently woke up in a strange town.

Chadwick Boseman
Courtesy of Decider

After Person Unknown’s conclusion, Boseman appeared in a number of other series between 2011-2018 including The Glades, Castle, Fringe, Justified and Saturday Night Live.

On the film side, Chadwick Boseman had made his big screen debut back in 2008. In this first role, the actor starred alongside Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid and Clancy Brown in the sports film The Express: The Ernie Davis Story. In 2012, Boseman had the leading role in The Kill Hole, an action film. Boseman would go on to appear as baseball player Jackie Robinson in sports drama 42. The film also starred Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, and Lucas Black, among others.

Following a supporting turn in the Kevin Costner-led Sports Day, Boseman landed the role of singer-songwriter James Brown in the 2014 musical biographical film Get On Up. In 2016, the same year he began playing his best known-role, the talented performer also starred as “Thoth” in Gods of Egypt.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios/Marvel Fusion (YouTube)

Chadwick Boseman first played King T’Challa, ruler of the fictional Wakanda in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, where he is recruited to Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr) team. Two years later, Boseman reprised the role as the headling superhero of Black Panther. For this film, set in Wakanda, Boseman was supported by a cast including Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright and Martin Freeman. Boseman also played T’Challa in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In 2017, he played civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall in the film Marshall.

In the final two years of life, Boseman had three major film roles in the works. For the first, he starred as an NYPD detective in action thriller 21 Bridges. Additionally, Boseman starred in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, a war drama. This was the final film released before Boseman’s death. Lastly, Boseman has a posthumous role in George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, opposite Viola Davis. Another posthumous role is that of T’Challa/Black Panther in What If…?, an anthology alternate universe series on Disney Plus wherein Boseman’s character is reimagined as Star Lord (played by Chris Pratt in the films).

RIP Chadwick Boseman: 1976-2020

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