Hours after news first surfaced of the passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has issued a statement — one in which he remembers the actor as an "icon for the ages." Boseman appeared in four films which Feige produced, Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, and the two most recent Avengers films.
"Chadwick's passing is absolutely devastating," Feige — president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer for Marvel Entertainment — said in the statement. "He was our T'Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life."
Feige's statement added, "He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family."
A short time after Feige's statement was released, Disney chairman Bob Iger issued one of his own to his Twitter profile. "We are all heartbroken by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman -- an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met," Iger's tweet read.
"He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther; shattering myths and stereotypes, becoming a long-awaited hero to millions around the world, and inspiring us all to dream bigger and demand more than the status quo," the tweet added. "We mourn all that he was, as well as everything he was destined to become. For his friends and millions of fans, his absence from the screen is only eclipsed by his absence from our lives. All of us at Disney send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family."
Boseman's representatives announced Friday night the actor had passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He's survived by his wife and family.
Cover photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images