Robert Downey Jr & Don Cheadle Pay Emotional Tribute To Chadwick Boseman

by Christina Marfice
MTVAwards and Sarah Morris/Getty

Chadwick Boseman was posthumously awarded the ‘Hero for the Ages’ award at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards, and we can’t think of anyone more deserving

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few months since Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman died suddenly following a secret battle with colon cancer. Since then, fans, colleagues, and even movie studios have been paying tribute, and stories have been coming out about the many incredible deeds Boseman did before his death.

At last night’s MTV Movie & TV Awards, two of the actor’s Marvel co-stars, Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle, paid a touching tribute to their friend and his legacy as they presented him with a posthumous Hero for the Ages Award.

“The second you first saw him on screen or had the opportunity to meet him in person, his energy and intensity was undeniable,” Downey Jr. said in the intro for the touching award presentation. “There was something different and special about Chadwick Boseman.”

Cheadle added, “Each time he stepped on the set, he inspired and influenced everyone there. And with every role, he created a new legion of fans. He had an incredible power to unify people and their love for his work and their respect for him as a person. The way he lived his life united people behind a higher purpose, and that will be his legacy.”

Boseman may have become a household name after his role in Black Panther, but Cheadle highlighted some of his lesser-known — but still incredibly impactful — roles, like Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall.

“He brought humanity and truth to the portrayal of people who felt larger than life, and he did it in a way that honored their memories,” Cheadle said.

Give us a minute while we grab the tissues — and you might want to grab some, too, for this next part. Downey Jr. then turned the focus of the tribute to all the incredible things Boseman accomplished off-screen.

“Mr. Boseman truly embodied what it meant to be a superhero,” Downey Jr. said. “His impact as a groundbreaking leading man, as an icon on screen, it won’t be quantified by the box-office records he broke, but by the legions of fans who will celebrate him for many years to come.”

He continued, “And he wasn’t just a hero on screen. His list of selfless and inspirational acts and deeds is too long to recount here — consistently showing up during trial and triumph for family, friends and fans alike, some of whom were battling the same invisible enemy. He was the most heroic when just being Chad. That’s when he was bigger than anyone he played on screen.”

There isn’t anyone who is more deserving of this honor than Boseman, and this tribute by his co-stars and friends only further proves it.