"He had this combination of being an old soul with the most incredible twinkle in his eye," the vice-presidential nominee said on 20/20

By Nicholas Rice
August 31, 2020 03:20 PM
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Kamala Harris is continuing to pay her respects to Chadwick Boseman.

During a 20/20 special that aired Sunday, the Democratic vice presidential nominee talked about Boseman's role as the royal Black Panther — the first Black person to lead a Marvel film — and about his final tweet, celebrating her own recent history making.

“That his last tweet was to encourage people to exercise their right as citizens to vote, to participate in their democracy — born out of love of country — that’s so reflective of Chadwick," Harris, 55, said of the Aug. 11 post, which was the same day she was picked as Joe Biden's running mate.

Of Boseman's major Marvel role, she said: "It was a moment of collective celebration because of the story itself, but also because of Chadwick. The significance of it, the brilliance of it, the elegance of it — he did all of that.”

"He had this combination of being an old soul with the most incredible twinkle in his eye," Harris said on 20/20.

From left: Chadwick Boseman and Sen. Kamala Harris
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images; Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images
From left: Chadwick Boseman and Sen. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris/Instagram

Harris previously paid tribute to Boseman following the news of his death on Friday, that night sharing a photo similar to the one Boseman posted in his final tweet.

The photograph of the two was taken from the Families Belong Together – Freedom for Immigrants March at Los Angeles City Hall in June 2018.

"Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble,” Harris wrote on Friday, noting that both she and Boseman were graduates of Howard University.

“He left too early but his life made a difference," she wrote. Sending my sincere condolences to his family."

On Saturday, Harris shared another photo from the same event, writing on Instagram: "From his groundbreaking work in Black Panther to his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, Chadwick Boseman helped paint a new picture of what’s possible. Keeping his family, friends, and fans in my prayers during this difficult time."

Former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden also mourned Boseman, writing, "The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time."

In addition to his starring role in the Marvel franchise, 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.

As his career boomed in recent years, he kept his health struggles intensely privately until the news of his death broke Friday.

"It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman," the actor's representatives wrote in a statement on social media. "Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV."

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"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 continued.

"It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther."