Given birth to in South Carolina in 1982, Chadwick Boseman went on to have a prosperous stage profession being an actor, writer and director. During the mid-2000s, Boseman made an appearance on TV in numerous guest spots and landed reoccurring roles on the shows Lincoln Heights and Persons Unknown. Having been the lead on the indie film The Kill Hole, and was later on cast as Jackie Robinson in the 2013 biopic 42.
“I’m overwhelmed by it. It’s just a huge responsibility. I wake up every morning, been working and prepping on it, and I’m having the time of my life, playing baseball … studying footage. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to just do what I love.” (On his role as baseball legend Jackie Robinson.) ~ Chadwick Boseman
Training and Stage Work
Acting professional Chadwick Boseman was born in 1982 in South Carolina, and proceeded to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in directing. He then attended the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England.
Boseman has performed in many stage productions, including Breathe, Romeo and Juliet, Bootleg Blues, Zooman, and Willie’s Cut and Shine. He earned an AUDELCO honor for his role as the teen E.J. in 2002’s Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms, a play by Ron Milner in regards to a struggling African-American family taken in by the enticement of fast cash. He’s also worked as part of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival and has written the plays Hieroglyphic Graffiti, Deep Azure and Rhyme Deferred. Additionally, he’s directed numerous stage productions, along with the short film Blood Over a Broken Pawn.
Featuring Characters on TV
Boseman started to make a name for himself on TV in the mid-2000s, with guest spots on crime dramas like Third Watch and CSI:NY, and the soap opera All My Children. Additionally, having been among the entertainers for the award-winning audio version of the 2005 novel Upstate, by Kalisha Buckhanon.
In 2008, Boseman landed a reoccurring role as Nathaniel Ray on the ABC Family drama Lincoln Heights, which centered on a suburban family who relocates to the urban community where the police officer patriarch was raised. The series ran for four seasons, with Boseman featured during the last two. During this time period, he also had guest-starring roles on ER, Lie to Me, The Glades and Cold Case.
A Football Player and Sergeant
The year 2008 likewise saw Boseman showing up in Gary Fleder’s The Express, a sports biopic about renowned running back Ernie Davis, who played for Syracuse University during the Civil Rights Movement. The film co-starred Rob Brown and Dennis Quaid, with Boseman featured as guy running back Floyd Little.
Boseman landed his future prominent role as Graham McNair, a Muslim sergeant, on the 2010 NBC summer thriller Persons Unknown. In the series, 7 people are abducted and stuck in a town by an unknown entity. The next year (2011), Boseman landed another guest spots on the shows Justified, Detroit 1-8-7, Fringe and Castle.
Performing Jackie Robinson
Throughout 2012, Boseman played out the head role in the film The Kill Hole, directed by Mischa Webley. The indie production revolves around the life of a Portland, Oregon taxi driver who is also an Iraq War veteran, haunted by memories of his past and drafted for a new mission by a private firm.
About the same time, Boseman won the lead role in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, which tells the story of the legendary baseball player, who broke racist boundaries by becoming the first African American to play major league baseball.
“I’m overwhelmed by it,” Boseman told online publication Madame Noire about his role as the baseball legend. “It’s just a huge responsibility. I wake up every morning, been working and prepping on it, and I’m having the time of my life, playing baseball … studying footage. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to just do what I love.”
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42 is a powerful film about how one man changed baseball… and changed America. The film opens in 1945, after the end of World War II, when team executive Branch Rickey has set his mind on bringing the first black baseball player into the ranks of an American major league baseball team despite the disapproval of his advisers and team manager.
Born a slave and self-educated Allensworth ran off and joined the Union Army.