Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther Costars Honor 'Awe-Inspiring' Star: 'Your Light Brightened Our Days'

Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther costars are paying tribute to the late actor following the devastating news of his death.

Boseman, 43, died following a four-year long battle with colon cancer, his team wrote on his Instagram page Friday. He played King T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther, a role his team said was "the honor of his career."

Angela Bassett, who played T’Challa’s mother Ramonda, penned a touching message on her Instagram page, sharing that she and Boseman had met many years before he became a star.

“‘It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther,” Bassett wrote. “During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day.”

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“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.” #WakandaForever

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“And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience," she continued. "This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.’ #WakandaForever."

“Your light brightened our days,” Forest Whitaker, who played Zuri in Black Panther, added in another tribute. “It will continue to brighten our hearts and minds. Let the heavens be blessed as you illuminate the sky. Sending my love and prayers to the family. May god continue to hold you in his everlasting embrace. RIP Chadwick."

Fellow Black Panther star Sterling K. Brown, who also shared a screen with the actor in the 2017 film Marshall, wrote in his own tribute, “I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed.”

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said Boseman’s death was “absolutely devastating.”

“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,” Feige said. “He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. 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."

His co-president Louis D’Esposito added, “We are crushed. Marvel has lost a true superhero and friend, but our hearts are heaviest for Chadwick’s family. Chadwick was a singular force whose King T’Challa showed the world the power of good and the meaning of loyalty and friendship. Wakanda forever, my friend.”

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