Learn more about late actor Chadwick Boseman’s longtime love, Taylor Simone Ledward.
Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died at just the age of 43 years old after a four-year battle with colon cancer in August 2020. A statement was released on social media on August 28 confirming the actor’s death. Chadwick is survived by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family. Chadwick and Taylor Simone have been together for years, but they always chose to keep their personal lives out of the public eye. Learn more about Chadwick’s darling wife.
How did Taylor Simone & Chadwick meet?
It’s still fairly unclear exactly how Taylor Simone and Chadwick initially connected. However, some of the first photos of the couple go back to 2015, when they were spotted at LAX. They were also seen together outside of the Jimmy Kimmel Live! studio in Los Angeles following Chadwick’s June 2017 appearance on the show. The two quietly got engaged in 2019, before they exchanged their ‘I dos’ in 2020.
Where did Taylor Simone go to college & what does she do?
It’s believed that Taylor Simone earned her education and bachelor’s degree from California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), Pomona in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in music industry studies. She was seemingly photographed singing with the school’s jazz band in 2013, which you can see here. Like her dear husband, Taylor Simone hails from the United States with African American ancestry. After marrying Chadwick, it’s not clear if she continued with her career, or chose to support Chadwick as much as possible.
Did family members ever confirm their romance?
Yes. In April 2018, Taylor Simone’s grandmother confirmed to In Touch Weekly that Chadwick and her granddaughter were, indeed, an item. Taylor Simone and Chadwick were “very happy,” she shared with the outlet. She also said that the two “respect each other.”
Taylor Simone was by Chadwick’s side when he died.
The statement that was released regarding Chadwick’s untimely death said that he died “with his wife and family by his side.” Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and “battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.” Chadwick never publicly revealed that he was battling cancer.
Taylor Simone & Chadwick were a private couple.
Chadwick and Taylor Simone did not confirm when their relationship started, so it’s unknown when they started dating. They also never publicly confirmed they got married. The couple was first spotted out together in 2015. Their last red carpet appearance was in Nov. 2019 at the premiere of Chadwick’s film 21 Bridges in New York City.
Chadwick mentioned Taylor Simone during his NAACP Image Awards speech.
When the actor won the 2018 award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as T’Challa/Black Panther in Black Panther, he mentioned his love for the first time publicly. When his name was announced, they sweetly kissed before he went up to the stage. “Simone, you’re with me every day,” he said. “I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you.” The camera panned to her and she blew him a kiss and mouthed “I love you.”
They made their red carpet debut at the 2019 SAG Awards
Chadwick and Taylor Simone walked hand-in-hand on the carpet at the SAG Awards in Jan. 2019. Taylor Simone looked stunning in a black floral gown alongside Chadwick.
The last time they appeared together was in February 2020
The couple sat courtside together during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, just 6 months before his death. They posed for photos and enjoyed the game on their date night out.
Taylor Simone has made public appearances since her husband’s passing.
Taylor Simone was responsible for perhaps the most moving and emotional moment from the 2021 Golden Globe Awards. At the ceremony, which went largely virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Chadwick was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his electrifying performance in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, in which he starred alongside Viola Davis. When the time came to announce the recipient of the prize, it was announced that Chadwick won the award posthumously.
In lieu of anyone from the cast or crew of the film making an acceptance speech on Chadwick’s behalf and in his memory, Taylor Simone appeared on screen to offer a few words that touched every single person watching the awards show telecast. “He would thank God,” she said, wearing a gown and fully dressed for the event. “He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and sacrifices.”
— Variety (@Variety) March 1, 2021
Taylor Simone continued, “He would thank his incredible team…He would thank his team on-set for this film.” Through her words, Taylor Simone was visibly emotional, holding back tears as much as she could while speaking. “He would say something beautiful; something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you, you can. That tells you to keep going,” she said.
“That calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” Taylor Simone went on to thank the cast of the lauded film, as well, calling out Colman Domingo and Denzel Washington, among others. “And I don’t have his words,” she said. “But we have to take all the moment to celebrate those we love. So, thank you, HFPA, for this opportunity to do exactly that. And, Hun,” she said, referencing her dear husband. “You keep ’em coming.” You can watch Taylor Simone’s full speech from the clip above.
In March, she also accepted the award at the Critics Choice for Best Actor in a Leading Role. “It is so hard to find a celebratory in these moments,” she said, per Deadline. “His work in this film deserves this — he deserves this,” she went on. Taylor Simone went on to say that, were he still here, he would thank his family, God, and those who helped him on this journey. She also emphasized that he would mention the “importance of [Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom] and the importance of Black voices telling Black Stories.”
Taylor Simone, who wore a gorgeous pink gown, closed her speech on an incredibly thoughtful note. “As I recently read, societies grow great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they may never sit,” she said. Referencing her late husband, Taylor Simone said, “our society may be a far cry from great, but I know the seeds you planted will grow into forests and one day, we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens.”
Will she attend the Academy Awards?
As of now, it’s not widely known whether or not Taylor Simone will attend the forthcoming Academy Awards ceremony in April 2021. Her late husband is nominated posthumously for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading role. Thus far, Chadwick has won most major honors for his work in the film adaptation of August Wilson‘s play, directed by George C. Wolfe. But the format for the Oscars is going to be very different this year.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, virtual award shows have seemingly become the new normal. This year’s Oscars, though, don’t seem to be following that format. “In this unique year that has asked so much of so many, the Academy is determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate,” a spokesperson for the Academy said in a statement, per Variety. “To create the in-person show our global audience wants to see, while adapting to the requirements of the pandemic, the ceremony will broadcast live from multiple locations, including the landmark Dolby Theatre. We look forward to sharing more details soon.”
With the lack of Zoom calls, it looks like the only other option will be in-person attendance. This means that Taylor Simone could very well attend the ceremony at the Dolby Theater, if she is still based in Los Angeles. Regardless, this time is meant to celebrate her beloved partner and the towering career he leaves audiences and fans.