The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sunday night in a virtual ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel from the Staples Center in Los Angeles recognizing excellence in the television industry. While this year's ceremony looked a bit different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event still featured many familiar elements as it honored some of the best performances and programs on the small screen over the past year, including taking a moment to honor and remember the influential and beloved figures in the television industry that we sadly lost since the last Emmys. This year's Emmy Awards In Memoriam paid tribute to a number of those we said goodbye to too soon, including Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.
This year's tribute featured a performance by of "Nothing Compares 2 U" by H.E.R. while images of those who've passed were presented, including Boseman as well as Regis Philbin, Naya Rivera, Caroll Spinney, and more.
Boseman died August 28th at the age of 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer. The actor The actor, who also starred in films such as 42, Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, and the upcoming Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, had never publicly spoken about his illness. While Boseman is best known to many for his role as T'Challa in Marvel's Black Panther, the actor had an extensive career in television as well, including appearances in Castle, Fringe, and Justified.
"I was deciding whether or not directing Black Panther was the right choice for me. I'll never forget, sitting in an editorial suite on the Disney Lot and watching his scenes," Black Panther helmer Ryan Coogler wrote in his tribute to Boseman. "His first with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, then, with the South African cinema titan, John Kani as T'Challa's father, King T'Chaka. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to make this movie."
Coogler's statement concluded, "In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad's character, T'Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad's performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It's no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again."
The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards take place tonight hosted virtually from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and air on ABC.