Chadwick Boseman's life, legacy and impact are remembered in this week's issue of PEOPLE

By Alexia Fernandez and Mary Green
September 02, 2020 09:00 AM
Advertisement

Chadwick Boseman was a force on the set of Black Panther and he transferred that willpower to his compassion for others.

The actor, who died of colon cancer on Aug. 28 at age 43, is celebrated on the cover of this week’s issue of PEOPLE for his career, his legacy and the impact he made on millions of people.

In the issue, Black Panther executive producer Nate Moore remembers his final interaction with the late star during lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. The two were texting about their work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"It was during lockdown, and we worked together to get a young boy a voice note from T’Challa, as well as a package of toys – no easy feat when we weren’t allowed to leave our homes or go to the office," says Moore, referencing Boseman's Black Panther character. "But Chad figured out how to make it work because he cared so intently, and in hindsight, so personally."

Moore says he received a "final text" from Boseman.

"'It broke me, man,'" reads Boseman's text, according to Moore. "'But we need to do that for them. People deserve abundant life, special moments. They’ve been through hell battling disease. If we were able to ease their suffering and bring joy for a moment, and hopefully moments has he goes through the bags, then we made a difference in his life.'"

Chadwick Boseman
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Adds Moore, "Again, hindsight will tell us that Chad felt that way because he too was battling a disease. But I don’t think that’s true. I think that’s just who he was as a man. A leader and a caregiver first, who accomplished both of those things as a performer and as a regular person."

  • For more about Chadwick Boseman, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Boseman could be "intimidating," Moore says. "Much has been said about his presence when he walked into a room. I’d argue that the intensity of his gaze was also unparalleled."

Chadwick Boseman
| Credit: Art Streiber/AUGUST

"Because as intense as his gaze was, his smile could light up the sky," adds Moore.

The actor’s representatives shared the news of his death in a heartfelt tribute on his Twitter account, revealing the Marshall star had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and had battled it privately for four years as it progressed to stage IV.

Boseman’s career was among the brightest in Hollywood — but the actor’s focus was always on how he could serve others.

“I definitely value the fact that I can change people’s lives on a given day,” he told PEOPLE in 2017.

From his inspiring roles to his visits to children coping with illnesses, he did exactly that, in ways big and small.

Reporting by Mary Green