Chadwick Boseman’s legacy is very much alive in the wake of his tragic death in August 2020. Although he died following his private battle with colon cancer at age 43, Boseman has gone on to earn nominations for a number of major awards, with what many would regard as the biggest honor being announced on March 15, 2021.
Boseman made history in February 2021 when he became the first actor to earn four SAG Award nominations in the same year. His role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom earned him nods for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by Cast in a Motion Picture, while his appearance in Da 5 Bloods saw him nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by Cast in a Motion Picture. Boseman also won the Best Actor — Motion Picture Drama award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards, as well as the Best Actor gong at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.
In the Netflix movie inspired by blues singer Ma Rainey’s life, Boseman plays the fictional trumpeter Levee Green who butts heads with Ma and her producer Sturdyvant, played by Jonny Coyne. Keep reading to find out about the other huge posthumous honor Boseman received for his acclaimed role.
Chadwick Boseman received his first Oscar nomination after his death
On March 15, 2021, it was announced that the late Chadwick Boseman had earned his first-ever Oscar nomination when he received the nod for Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The bittersweet achievement means Boseman is only the seventh actor in Academy Awards history to be nominated for the award after they have passed away (via Independent). Other posthumous nominees include James Dean, Spencer Tracy, Jeanne Eagels, Ralph Richardson, and Massimo Troisi, while Peter Finch won the award in 1976 and Heath Ledger won in 2008. Boseman is going up against Steven Yeun for Minari, Riz Ahmed for Sound of Metal, Anthony Hopkins for his role in The Father, and Mank‘s Gary Oldman at the 2021 Academy Awards, which will take place on April 25, 2021.
It has not been confirmed who will represent him at the Oscars, though Boseman’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward accepted his Critics Choice Award with an emotional speech in March 2021. “It has to be said aloud that for those of us who know Chad intimately, personally, professionally, those he taught, those he gave a word for advice, those who taught him: it is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments,” she said, per Entertainment Tonight. “As proud as we are of him, yes for his work, but even more just for who he is as a person, but his work deserves this. His work in this film deserves this — he deserves this.”
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