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Chadwick Boseman had been battling colon cancer since 2016, according to a family statement.

USA TODAY

Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey and Kamala Harris were among the famous faces who honored Chadwick Boseman on Sunday night during ABC News’ special 40-minute tribute to celebrate the late actor’s life. 

Following a commercial-free airing of “Black Panther,” the 2018 Marvel film that became the first superhero movie to be nominated for a best picture Oscar, ABC aired “Chadwick Boseman – A Tribute for a King,” hosted by “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts. 

Boseman, who made a global impact bringing “Black Panther” to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with playing Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown on the big screen, died Friday of colon cancer. He was 43.

Fellow Marvel stars Spike Lee, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Simu Liu, Bennedict Cumberbatch, Angelina Jolie

“I didn’t have enough time with Chadwick,” Don Cheadle, who played War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, began the tributes. “That’s the statement I know everyone is making, and everyone can make because he was here far too short a time.” 

Whoopi Goldberg referred to Boseman’s passing as a “loss felt around the world.” 

“The way he handled his live and managing cancer with such humility and grace and dignity lets us all know that he truly was a superhero,” Oprah added. “he will be remembered, cherished and loved in our hearts not just for what he was able to offer on film but what he was able to give as a human being. It’s not just a loss we’re feeling. We’re going to feel his absence.” 

Chadwick Boseman dies: The ‘Black Panther’ star, who battled colon cancer, was 43

Boseman’s publicist Nicki Fioravante confirmed the news Friday night to USA TODAY. The star died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, Fioravante told The Associated Press.

The actor was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement, which was posted on Boseman’s social media accounts Friday.

“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” the family wrote.

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The announcement on Boseman’s Twitter account became the social media platform’s most liked tweet ever on Saturday, Twitter confirmed. As of Sunday morning, the post has more than 6.8 million likes and 3 million retweets. 

Former President Barack Obama previously held the most-liked record, with his 2017 tweet quoting Nelson Mandela in response to violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Three years later, that tweet has 4.3 million likes and 1.6 million retweets. 

Boseman’s final Instagram post was a photo of himself with fellow Howard University graduate Kamala Harris, celebrating his fellow Howard University graduate becoming the first Indian-American and first Black woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket. 

“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, it’s just so reflective of Chadwick,” Harris said Sunday night. She later referred to “Black Panther” as 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.” 

Contributing: Andrea Mandell, Brian Truitt and Bryan Alexander

What Chadwick Boseman meant to me: The ‘Black Panther’ star’s death gives me the courage to keep going

Remembering Chadwick Boseman: His best quotes on ‘Black Panther,’ James Brown and Angela Bassett

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