The Late Chadwick Boseman Wins Golden Globe Award

Garth A. Rose

Chadwick Boseman
Photo: AP

American actor Chadwick Boseman, of Black Panther fame, who died from colon cancer in August 2020, won the Golden Globe Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama award at the 78th annual Golden Globes awards presentation on Sunday night. 

Boseman, who died at age 43, won the award for his performance of a rather eccentric jazz saxophone player named Levee in the Netflix movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in which he co-starred with Viola Davis as 1930s jazz singer Ma Rainey.

Most people who have seen the movie seemed to be in consensus that Boseman, who was an extremely gifted Black actor, would receive top awards, including the Oscar, for his outstanding performance which he played shortly before his death. He died while the film was in post-production, before its release.

Indeed, Boseman has already received several posthumous nominations for his performance. His Golden Globe win was his first in the prestigious awards, and also his first nomination.

Bosman’s award was presented by actress Renée Zellweger to  his widow Taylor Simone Ledward. In an emotional speech Ledward said, “He would have said something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you, you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.”

For his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Boseman has also been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Critics Choice Award, and is a favorite for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor, though nominations won’t be announced until later this month. Boseman has also won numerous critics’ prizes throughout the year.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom marked Boseman’s final movie role. Although ailing with colon cancer since 2016, he was busy making movies including his role in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, another Netflix film that was released shortly before his death. He won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor in December for his role in that movie.

Although Bosman made some 15 movies, he may best be remembered for his role as T’Challa in the movie Black Panther released in 2018, that is until his outstanding performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.


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