The late great Chadwick Boseman was a consummate professional - an actor’s actor if there ever was one. From his portrayal of icons such as singer James Brown, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson to his performance as the fictional superhero, T’Challa, in Marvel’s Black Panther, Boseman’s star never ceased to shine bright. In August of 2020, the beloved actor passed away unexpectedly at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. Fans and peers mourned alike as the world was left grieving the immeasurable loss.
Since then, Boseman has been honored in a number of ways: making history as the first Black actor to be posthumously nominated for an Oscar for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; his alma mater, Howard University, celebrating his life and legacy by renaming its College of Fine Arts in Boseman’s honor; Walt Disney Co.’s executive chairman, Bob Iger, partnering with the University to spearhead fundraising efforts for the new building and establishing an endowment in Boseman’s honor.
“Through his tremendous example, he inspired millions to overcome adversity, dream big and reach beyond the status quo. The college named in his honor at his beloved Howard University will provide opportunities for future generations of artists to follow in his footsteps and pursue their dreams,” Iger explained in his statement.
Now, according to Black Enterprise, Boseman has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance in Disney’s animated series What If…? The series, created by A.C. Bradley (Troll Hunters: Tales of Arcadia), is an anthology based on the Marvel Comics series. Boseman reprised his role as Star-Lord T’Challa in the first animated series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, was on hand to accept the award at the 2022 Creative Arts Emmys on his behalf.
“When I learned Chad was nominated, I started thinking of everything that was going on in the world and our world. I was so in awe of his commitment and dedication and what a beautiful moment that one of the last things he would work on was something so important to him and to the world but also something new,” said Ledward-Boseman.
“You can’t understand your purpose unless you ask ‘what if?’ What if the universe is conspiring in my favor? What if it’s me? Chad would be so honored and I am honored on his behalf,” she continued.
Ledward-Boseman took to social media to share a picture of the Emmy, thanking The Academy for the esteemed honor and for acknowledging her husband’s commitment to his craft:
He put every part of himself into every role he ever took on. It was a true honor for Chad to receive a posthumous Creative Arts #Emmys Award for his voice work in @MarvelStudios’ @whatifofficial. 🙏🏾 #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/QjYj5TY9eu— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) September 4, 2022
Marvel Studios also acknowledged Boseman’s win:
Ledward-Boseman proves to be resilient as she continues to represent on behalf of her late husband. She accepted an award on his behalf at the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards in January 2021, delivering a moving speech about Boseman’s commitment to living in his truth and being a vessel for good. She also dusted off her own performance skills for the “Stand Up to Cancer" event where she delivered an emotional rendition of Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal’s 1938 hit "I'll Be Seeing You." Her alma mater's band, California State Polytechnic University, helped her put on a heartwarming show.
‘What If…?’ animated series poster with a cartoon version of Chadwick Boseman announcing his Emmy win alongside a picture of his posthumous Emmy Award. Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios/Chadwick Boseman/Twitter