According to Jordan -- who starred alongside Boseman in 2018's Black Pantherand was a close friend for several years -- he spent the last few days "trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel."
"I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything," Jordan wrote in a powerful tribute on Instragram, alongside a slideshow of snapshots showing the two of them laughing and smiling together. "I wish we had more time."
"One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked , and now the truth of that means more to me than ever," Jordan shared. "Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness."
In 2003, Boseman was cast to play Reggie Porter on All My Children. He had the role for a week, but was cut after addressing his concerns regarding what he felt was the role's more racially stereotypical characteristics. Producers took some notes to heart with a re-write of the role, and then cast 16-year-old Jordan, who had just come off his time on The Wire. It was the beginning of their long and inexorable connection.
"Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are," Jordan continued in his tribute. "Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me."
Jordan went on to say that Boseman, 10 years his senior, was his "big brother," but lamented never getting the chance to express that sentiment or his gratitude while he was still alive.
"I'm more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire," Jordan concluded. "I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. 'Is this your king!?' Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother."
"It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman," reads the statement posted on his social media page. "Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last four 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," the statement continues. "It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side."
Boseman had never spoken publicly about his diagnosis, and the news came as a shock to many.