Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman dies of cancer aged 43

US actor Chadwick Boseman, known for his iconic role in Black Panther and several other prominent films, has died of cancer, his representative said. He was 43.

He died at home in Los Angeles with his wife and family by his side, a statement posted on social media said.

Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago but had not made the information public.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said.

"From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and several more - all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honour of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in Black Panther."

Boseman came to prominence playing real-life figures - baseball great Jackie Robinson in 2013's 42, and soul singer James Brown in 2014's Get on Up.

It is believed he married his long-term partner, the singer Taylor Simone Ledward, earlier this year. The couple had no children.

Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. His striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013’s 42 drew attention in Hollywood.

Boseman's portrayal of the ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology on earth received critical acclaim.

Last year Boseman said that the film had changed what it means to be "young, gifted and black".

As well as receiving positive reviews and taking more than $1.3 billion US dollars (£973m) at cinemas worldwide, the film was widely seen as a cultural milestone for having a predominantly black cast and a black director, Ryan Coogler. The film was also the first superhero film to get a nomination for best picture at the Oscars.

Boseman played the same role in other Marvel films, including Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

A Black Panther sequel was planned and due for release in 2022, with Boseman set to return.

Meanwhile, tributes began to pour in after the news was announced. Mark Ruffalo, who starred alongside Boseman in the Marvel films, playing Hulk said it was an honour working with Boseman.

“All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of Chadwick Boseman,” he said. “What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.”

Don Cheadle, who also starred with Boseman in the Marvel films, posted a picture of them together: “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god ... forever and ever ...”

Former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden also paid tribute to Chadwick and wrote, “The true power of Chadwick Boseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes.”

Chadwick took on his first producing job last year, producing and starring in action thriller 21 Bridge. He was last seen on-screen in Spike Lee's film Da 5 Bloods as the leader of a group of Black soldiers in the Vietnam War.

Tributes also poured in from footballers, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho all paying their respects to the Black Panther star.

Aubameyang, who wore the Black Panther mask after scoring a decisive goal in a Europa League tie against Rennes wrote on his Instagram page:"We all feeling it!! May you Rest in Peace. You gave us so much hope and strength. Thanks for everything #wakandaforever."

He added: ‘I needed a mask which could represent me. It’s Black Panther. In Gabon the national team are the panthers. It represents me."

Football club,Arsenal also tweeted a message of condolence, saying: “Rest in peace, Chadwick Boseman. An inspiration whose impact went far beyond film. Your legacy will live on."