Chadwick Boseman Appeared to Hint at Cancer Battle Three Years Before His Death

In a 2017 interview, late actor Chadwick Boseman subtly referenced what we know now was his private battle with colon cancer.

By McKenna Aiello Aug 29, 2020 3:17 PMTags
Watch: Chadwick Boseman Dies of Cancer at 43

Chadwick Boseman never spoke publicly about his fight against colon cancer, but a 2017 interview that has since been resurfaced in light of his death subtly references his ailing health. 

Huffington Post reporter Matt Jacobs' tweet went viral on Friday, Aug. 28 as he recalled Chadwick's response to the physically taxing roles he took on for Black Panther and Marshall

"You came off of one Black Panther project, did Marshall and then made another Black Panther movie. Did you bulk up, slim down and then bulk up again?" Chadwick was asked, to which he responded exhaustedly, "Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah." 

"You've been through the wringer," the reporter responded.

"Oh, you don't even know," Chadwick said. "You have no idea. One day I'll live to tell the story."

The actor's words made that much more heartbreaking as he'll never be able to share his experience in his own words. Chadwick's famous friends and colleagues, however, have shed light on the man they knew behind the camera. 

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Josh Gad, who starred alongside Chadwick in Marshall, shared one of the last text messages he received from the "brilliant" and "once-in-lifetime talent." 

Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Disney

Chadwick encouraged his co-star to "catch the rain" in a moving message, which read, "If you are in Los Angeles, you woke up this morning to the rare and peaceful sound of a steady precipitation. If you're like me, maybe you looked at the week's forecast and found that it's supposed to rain for three straight days; not without breaks of sunlight and reprieves of moist gloom, but yeah it's gonna be coming down like cats and dogs."

After the rain had passed, the actor told Josh to go outside and "take advantage of every moment we can to enjoy the simplicity of God's creation, whether it be clear skies and sun or clouded over with gloom."

News of Chadwick's passing was confirmed in a statement shared to his social media accounts. In it, reps for the onscreen superhero said he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and underwent "countless surgeries and chemotherapy" to treat it all while filming. 

At some point, the cancer progressed to stage IV. According to the statement, Chadwick passed away at home with his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family by his side. He was 43.