Prolific actor Chadwick Boseman may no longer be with us, but his brilliant work keeps his legacy alive. Few stars have had a global impact like Chadwick as the leading man of Black Panther. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Boseman’s wife accepted a posthumous award on his behalf at the Creative Arts Emmys for his final performance in Marvel’s What If…? series.
The Creative Arts Emmys awarded Chadwick for outstanding character voice-over performance. In the “What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?” episode, he voiced Star-Lord T’Challa. In this alternate reality, the prince never inherits Wakandan throne and strength of the Black Panther. Instead, aliens looking for Peter Quill accidentally abduct a young T’Challa.
Almost exactly two years after the 43-year-old shockingly passed away from colon cancer, he won his first Emmy on Saturday. Chadwick’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward took the stage at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for an emotional acceptance speech.
“When I learned that Chad was nominated for this award, I started thinking about everything that was going on when he was recording — everything that was going on in the world and in our world and just being in such awe of his commitment and his dedication,” she said.
Fans and even close colleagues had no idea that while Chadwick set the bar for powerful dramatic acting and athletic stunts, he privately battled cancer. For years, he endured multiple surgeries and painful treatments in secret. Not even the fight of his life stopped him dedicated performances and generous philanthropy.
“And what a beautifully aligned moment it really is that one of the last things he would work on would not only be revisting a character that was so important to him and his career and to the world, but also that it be an exploration of something new, diving into a new potential future — particularly with everything he spoke about purpose and finding the reason that you are here on the planet on this very time,” Taylor said.
“You can’t understand your purpose unless you’re willing to ask, ‘What if,’ unless you’re willing to say, ‘What if the universe is conspiring in my favor, what if it’s me?” she continued. “Thank you so much for the honor — Chad would be so honored, and I’m honored on his behalf.”
Chadwick’s fellow voice-over nominees were F. Murray Abraham (Moon Knight), Julie Andrews (Bridgerton), Maya Rudolph (Big Mouth), Stanley Tucci (Central Park), Jessica Walter (Archer) and Jeffrey Wright (What If…?).
Fans were shocked about the Oscars snub for Best Actor as trumpet player Levee Green in the Howard grad’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Howver, Chadwick continued to rack up awards after his passing. Ledward has accepted posthumous awards on his behalf at the Gotham Awards, Golden Globes, NAACP Image Awards, and Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.
The Black Panther franchise will never be the same without the king we know and love, but it will be back. In July, Marvel Studios released a the first sneak peek at Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The upcoming sequel will hit theaters in November 2022.
It still hurts that Chadwick Boseman is gone too soon, but his work, and the joy it brings, lives on forever.