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How Chadwick Boseman's Private Love Story Added Another Layer to His Legacy

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Chadwick Boseman Married His Longtime Love Before Passing Away

By so many accounts, Chadwick Boseman led a generous, purposeful and fulfilling life, building his career one carefully considered role at a time, amassing a credit list that included mighty historical figures and a game-changing comic book superhero.

But only after he died a year ago did the lens zoom in on the inner life he’d deliberately kept to himself, his private world suddenly of mass interest. Because learning about what Boseman was like behind the scenes was all that was left to peruse alongside his now frustratingly small body of work that should’ve had decades more to grow.

In fact, that was when most people found out that the 43-year-old had recently gotten married, reading that his wife was at his side when, on Aug. 28, 2020, he lost his battle with colon cancer—a seemingly impossible-to-hide health setback that he did in fact manage to keep a secret from everyone who worked with him for four years.

So, over the past 12 months, Taylor Simone Ledward has been the keeper of his legacy, a role no person mourning the love of her life would ever want but one she gracefully stepped into.

Left to speak on his behalf as he was repeatedly honored for what turned out to be his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ledward dutifully cracked open the door so his countless fans and admirers could get a better understanding of the man she knew perhaps better than anybody.

“As an artist, an actor, and a person, Chad made a practice of telling the truth,” she said at the Gotham Awards—which honored Boseman with the Actors Tribute—in January.

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