Boseman's widow gives tearful tribute at awards

Simone Ledward (left) called her late husband Chadwick Boseman (right) "the most honest person I ever met", as she accepted an award on his behalf at the 2021 Gotham Awards.
Simone Ledward (left) called her late husband Chadwick Boseman (right) "the most honest person I ever met", as she accepted an award on his behalf at the 2021 Gotham Awards.PHOTOS: GOTHAM AWARDS, REUTERS

Actor Chadwick Boseman's widow Simone Ledward paid a tearful tribute to her late husband as she accepted an award on his behalf at the 2021 Gotham Awards on Tuesday.

Designed to reward independent film-makers, it is the first significant awards event of the season.

Boseman was honoured with the Gotham's annual tribute award, along with actress Viola Davis, his co-star in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020), British film-maker Steve McQueen and producerdirector Ryan Murphy.

In her heartfelt speech, Ledward said: "He was the most honest person I ever met… He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one."

The Black Panther (2018) star died in August last year after a four-year battle with colon cancer, which he did not make public. He was 43.

His marriage was also kept secret until after his death, when Ledward was granted the authority to administer his estate.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, a biopic about the celebrated blues singer, was Boseman's swansong.

For his role as feisty trumpet player Levee, he was nominated for the Best Actor award at the Gotham, but lost out to Riz Ahmed, who plays a drummer with hearing problems in Sound Of Metal (2019).

Ledward, who was on set with Boseman on his final movie, said in her tribute: "He harnessed the power of letting go and letting God's love shine through. May we not let his conviction be in vain. It is my honour on behalf of my husband."

She added: "Chad… thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2021, with the headline 'Boseman's widow gives tearful tribute at awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe