Mandatory Credit: Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP/Shutterstock (9637185a)
Actor Chadwick Boseman poses for a portrait in New York to promote his film, "Black Panther." The film opens nationwide on Friday
Chadwick Boseman Portrait Session, New York, USA - 14 Feb 2018
Chadwick Boseman, Star of Black Panther, Dies at 43 After 4-Year Cancer Battle: ‘A True Fighter’
The Black Panther star was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and over the past four years it progressed to stage IV
Chadwick Boseman has died, a rep for Boseman confirms to PEOPLE. He was 43.
The Black Panther star died at his home surrounded by family after a years-long battle with colon cancer, his team wrote on the star’s Instagram page.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the Instagram post said. “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.”
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. 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.”
Boseman’s team wrote that his role has King T’Challa in Black Panther was “the honor of his career.”
“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side,” the post concluded. “The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
The Associated Press reported that Boseman died on Friday.
A rep for Disney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In addition to his starring role in the blockbuster Marvel movies, Boseman is also known for portraying several historical figures, including Jackie Robinson in 42, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall and James Brown in Get On Up.
In 2018, Boseman spoke about the impact of Black Panther, and became emotional when discussing his relationship with two young fans who died of cancer before the movie was released.
“Throughout our filming, I was communicating with them, knowing they were both terminal. What they and their parents said to me was, they were trying to hold on ’til this movie comes,” he said during an EW SiriusXM Town Hall.
“To a certain degree it’s a humbling experience because you’re like, this can’t mean that much to them,” he said. “But seeing how the world has taken this on, I realize they anticipated something great. Thinking back now to when I was a kid, waiting for Christmas to come, waiting for my birthday to come, waiting for a toy I was gonna get a chance to experience, or a video game, I did live life waiting for those moments. It put me back in the mind of being a kid and feeling those two boys’ anticipation of this movie.”
“When I found out that they …” the actor continued, before stopping to collect himself. Eventually, he concluded, “Yeah. it means a lot.”
Marvel Studios issued a statement on Twitter Friday night, saying that the actor’s “legacy will live on forever.”
“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace.”