Chadwick Boseman is being celebrated as a hero. The late actor was honored with the Hero of the Ages Award at the first-ever MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time special, and two of his Marvel co-stars and close friends came out to pay their respects to his legacy.
Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle appeared in a pre-recorded tribute that played during the virtual awards special, and posthumously presented the award to Boseman — who died in August at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
“The second you first saw him on screen or had the opportunity to meet him in person, his energy and intensity was undeniable,” shared Downey Jr., who was visibly emotional as he remembered the beloved actor. “There was something different and special about Chadwick Boseman.”
“Each time he stepped on the set, he inspired and influenced everyone there and with every role he created a new legion of fans,” Cheadle said. “He had an incredible power to unify people in their love for his work and their respect for him as a person. The way he lived his life united people behind a higher purpose and that will be his legacy.”
“His impact as a groundbreaking leading man, as an icon on screen, it won’t be quantified by the box office records he broke but by the legions of fans who will celebrate him, for many years to come,” Downey Jr. added.
“Chadwick will be forever known as the Black Panther but he also painted incredibly powerful portrayals of iconic and influential real men who change the world — James Brown, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall,” Cheadle reflected. “He brought humanity and truth to people who felt larger-than-life, and he did it in a way that honored their memories.”
“He wasn’t just a hero on screen. His list of inspirational acts and deeds is too long to recount here,” Downey Jr. concluded. “He was the most heroic when he was just being Chad. That’s when he was bigger than anyone he played on screen.”
The award — which is meant to honor an inspiring celebrity who was a hero in his real life as much as he was on screen — is a fitting tribute to Boseman’s indelible cinematic legacy, as well as his tireless philanthropic efforts and his drive to bring joy to those around him.
For more on Boseman’s inspirational life, see the video below.
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