Chadwick Boseman’s Widow Simone Tearfully Pays Tribute to Late Actor at Gotham Awards

Simone Ledward Boseman, the widow of Chadwick Boseman, gave a tearful speech in honor of the late actor Monday at the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards.

At the ceremony, streamed live from the Independent Filmmaker Project's Facebook page, Chadwick and his “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” co-star Viola Davis were awarded the Gotham Awards Tribute prize.

After a moment of silence for the “Black Panther” actor — who died in August after a private four-year battle with colon cancer — a montage of some of his most notable roles was played, including such films as “42,” “Marshall,” and “Da 5 Bloods.”

While accepting the accolade on his behalf, Simone — who has also gone by Taylor Simone Ledward — gave an emotional speech, in which she paid tribute to her late husband.

"As an artist, an actor, and a person, Chad made a practice of telling the truth,” she said. "He is the most honest person I've ever met because he didn't just stop at speaking the truth, he actively searched for it. In himself, in those around him, and in the moment,"

"So it became how he lived his life, day in and day out," Simone continued. "Imperfect but determined. He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. He developed his understanding of what it meant to be the one, the none and the all. 'A vessel to be poured into and out of,' he'd said."

"He harnessed the power of letting go, and letting God's love shine through. He realized that when one is able to recognize that when their strength does not come from themself, they rarely mess up. That's what he was doing when he was acting. Modeling for us a path to true fulfillment."

Simon also said it was "honor to receive this award on behalf of my husband," as it was an "acknowledgment of not only his profound work but of his impact on this industry and this world."

Through tears, she added, “Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us. Thank you."

Chadwick’s role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” marks the actor’s final film appearance.

Aside from being acknowledged posthumously by the Gotham Awards, Boseman’s portrayal of Levee Green in the Netflix movie has earned him numerous accolades from various organizations, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.


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