Chadwick Boseman had tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Taylor Simone Ledward before he died of cancer on Friday. Though they never publicly announced their marriage, a statement posted by his team on social media following his death said the Black Panther star died “with his wife and family by his side.”
The People reports that the couple were first spotted together in 2015 before getting engaged in October 2019.
The last time they were seen together during the 2020 All-Star Game six months ago, Ledward was wearing an engagement ring.
But what more do we know about Ledward?
Ledward, a Japanese and Black, is a singer. She graduated with a degree in Music Industry Studies from California State Polytechnic University Pomona in 2014. She was the lead singer of the school’s jazz band and once auditioned to be on the X-Factor, according to reports.
After dating Boseman for four years, she is believed to have married the Marvel superhero in a private ceremony before his health deteriorated.
With Boseman gaining fame due to his sterling performances in films, particularly, the Black Panther, the couple were pictured at various award ceremonies and red carpet events.
In 2019, they made their first red carpet appearance together at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and then later at the 50th NAACP Image awards later that year.
In his acceptance speech at the 2019 NAACP Image Awards, Boseman thanked Ledward, saying: “Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you,” he said.
Leward was seen mouthing back the words, “I love you.”
Until Boseman’s death, the couple were “very happy”, Ledward’s grandmother told InTouch Weekly in 2018.
Tributes are still pouring in from fans and celebrities for Boseman on social media.
A statement says the 43-year-old was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and filmed many movies “during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”
His medical condition was not publicly known as he kept his personal life as private as possible. He was once asked about his love life, and this was his reply: “It’s no one’s business, really,” he said.
“When you talk about that, you become a whole different type of celebrity. Your personal life bleeds into your professional life. I’m an actor, and you know me from who I play. You get a sense of who I am, but you don’t know everything.”
Boseman was into theater before his acting career began on TV. He then landed a leading role in the 2013 critically-acclaimed biographical film 42. He didn’t have to audition for Black Panther, but he made history. When Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige met Boseman in Get On Up, he had no doubts that Chadwick was the right man for the King T’Challa role.
“I think it was 24 hours between saying his name in a creative story meeting and talking to his agent and getting on a phone with him and offering him the role of Black Panther, which he accepted,” Kevin said.
For his role in Black Panther, Boseman went on to officially become the first-ever African-American superhero to star in his own standalone feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Grossing over $1.3 billion globally, the award-winning Black Panther was also the first film based on a comic book to be nominated for the Oscar Best Picture award.