The year 2020 brought with it many tragic incidents from the coronavirus pandemic to the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter and just when we thought we have had the worst, news broke in the summer that the entertainment industry had lost another gem – Chadwick Boseman, an actor who received much critical acclaim for portraying historical black figures in biopics. His fame shot over the roof after playing T’Challa, the King of the fictional African nation Wakanda in Black Panther.
He made history with that role for becoming the first black actor to play a lead role in a superhero movie while being a source of inspiration for African American kids and the entire black race as a whole. Unfortunately, just when the world was gearing up for more from Boseman, death snatched him away. It would then come to light that while the actor worked hard to entertain us, he was secretly battling with his health. His unfortunate death threw his family into the limelight including his widow, Taylor Simone Ledward whom many have come to seek more information about.
Taylor Simone Ledward Has Paid Tribute and Represented Her Husband Throughout the 2021 Awards Season
It was no news that Chadwick Boseman had a woman in his life, but the uber private couple never did reveal that they were married, many thought that they were still engaged. The first time an official statement was naming Taylor Simone Ledward as Boseman’s wife was the official statement from his family, announcing his passing on the 28th of August 2010. The official statement which was posted on Instagram revealed the shocking fact that Boseman died after losing his bout with colon cancer and that he was surrounded by his family when he breathed his last, including his “wife.” It was the first official mention of Boseman’s wife ever in his over two-decade Hollywood career.
And then when the award season arrived early the following year, 2021, many for the first time got to see who Boseman’s wife was. Her first appearance to receive a posthumous honor in his stead came at the 30th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on January 11, 2021.
Boseman had been nominated for Best Actor for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which would sadly become his last film. Though Boseman did not win that award, the body presented him with an Actor Tribute Award and his wife appeared via FaceTime to pay tribute to her late husband. A tearful Taylor spoke of her husband in what was a very emotional moment saying that he made the practice of telling the truth which made him the most honest person she had ever met.
She added that because of his constant pursuit of the truth always, Chad, as she fondly calls him lived an imperfect yet determined life. Taylor also touched on Chad’s religious side saying that her late husband let God’s love shine through him by harnessing the power of letting go and realized that it was less likely for one to fail when they realized that their true strength does not come from themselves, a strategy he applied when portraying any role which was his way of modeling a path to true fulfillment.
Chadwick Boseman’s widow Simone appears during the Gothams’ tribute to the late actor pic.twitter.com/Rup6POrdgd
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 12, 2021
The next time that Taylor Ledward was appearing to the public to pay tribute to her husband was at the Golden Globe Award that took place a little over a month later in February 2021. The late actor was nominated again for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and this, he won. It was a big deal for the deceased family as it was his first time Boseman was scooping the award. Taylor’s appearance through FaceTime to receive the award in her deceased husband’s stead was not only one of the highlights of that night but by far the most emotional.
Trying to hold back her tears, Taylor began by describing what Chad’s words would have been had he been present to receive the award. She said he would have first appreciated God then his parents, then his ancestors as well as his co-stars and crew of the film. Taylor rightly said that Chad would have given a rousing speech that would have inspired many to keep chasing their dreams. Taylor admitted to not having Chad’s words before going on to thank the likes of Colman Domingo and Denzel Washington.
— Variety (@Variety) March 1, 2021
While it appeared that accepting awards in her deceased husband’s stead was very emotionally tasking for Taylor, she showed how very proud of her husband she was by asking him to keep the awards coming towards the end of her speech. The awards continued to pour as Taylor would yet again appear virtually to receive her husband’s Critics Choice Award for Best Actor yet again for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Taylor, while receiving the award virtually, admitted that “It is so hard to find a celebratory in these moments.” She then admitted that Chad did deserve the award. In what had become her custom for her to highlight what Boseman would do, she said that in addition to his appreciations that he would have emphasized the importance of black people telling black stories as in with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
She Has Warned About Colon Cancer
At the 2021 NAACP Image Award held on 28 March 2021, Chadwick Boseman was among the actors who won big, he won three awards, including Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture both for his roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as well as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in the war drama film, Da 5 Bloods directed by Spike Lee. The movie which was released a couple of months before Chad’s passing was named by the National Board of Review as the Best Film of 2020.
While accepting these awards virtually, Taylor Ledward seized the opportunity to raise awareness about colon cancer, the ailment that stole her beloved husband. While describing her late husband as an uncommon actor, she added that the way that he died was not uncommon at all especially among the black community. Taylor Ledward pointed out that black people were “20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it.” She also encouraged people to get checked as early detection can drastically reduce fatality.
Educating her listeners, Taylor added that the age of screening had been lowered to 45 years old and encouraged those around that age to get checked. Taylor cautioned that not having a family history of the disease was not an excuse not to get screened for colon cancer. She advised her viewers to be more proactive about their general well-being and also encouraged them to get more information on colon cancer from standuptocancer.org/coloncancersymptoms.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, as well as the third leading cause of cancer deaths in American among men and women combined. Stand Up to Cancer has revealed that in 90 percent of early detection, colon cancer is very beatable.
Thanks to Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ledward’s late husband became the actor with the most Screen Actors Guild nomination at the 2021 event held in April 2021. Out of four nominations, he won the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. While accepting the SAG virtually, Taylor dropped a quote by her late husband that says; “If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind.”
Chadwick Boseman also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom becoming the first black actor to posthumously receive an Oscar nomination.
What Does Taylor Simone Ledward Do For A Living?
Her increased public appearances albeit virtually have raised curiosity into who Boseman’s widow really is. It is known that she graduated from college in 2014 with a degree in music industry studies. Prior to earning that degree, she studied sociology at Napa Valley College. Just like their relationship, Taylor Ledward has been very private about her life since her husband’s death. All of her social media accounts including her LinkedIn have been set to private.
It is however known that she once competed to be a contestant on the music talent show, X-Factor. She had a professional SoundCloud account but all of her songs have since been deleted and the obvious reason is understandable. Her now-deleted LinkedIn profile said that she once worked for an electronic music promotion company called Insomniac Events.
Business records on the Secretary of State California website show that Taylor Ledward registered a cosmetic business “Brave Natural LLC” in December 2018. A separate record in January 2019 named her as the founder and CEO of the business. However, the state of the business remains unclear.
Did She Inherit Boseman’s Estate?
Sources projected Chadwick Boseman’s net worth at $12 million upon his 2020 demise, however, court documents obtained after his death showed that his estate was worth roughly $1 million. After the actor’s demise, Entertainment Tonight revealed that he had no legal will, however, two months prior to his death, NBC News reported that his widow Taylor Ledward filed paperwork in the Superior Court of California to request limited control of Boseman’s estate, the request was granted in mid-November 2020.
However, details of how Chadwick Boseman’s estate would be divided remains unknown as his parents Leroy and Carolyn Boseman were also listed on the court documents.
Taylor and Boseman’s Romance Have Been Traced Back To 2015
For the most part of his career which began in the early 1990s, Chadwick Boseman was very private when it came to his love life, however with his steady rise in fame after he added acting to his behind the scene roles, having a lot more intensity of the spotlight on him meant people had become more interested in his life beyond his day job.
The first time that Boseman was spotted with Taylor Simone Ledward was in December 2015, paparazzi cameras photographed them together at the Los Angeles International Airport, this was a year before Boseman would be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. He was also already an established actor following his breakout role in 2013’s 42.
While it is not known the exact circumstance that led to their first meeting, the year they were spotted had made it one year since Taylor Simone had graduated from the California State Polytechnic University Pomona where she earned a degree in Music Industry Studies.
The next time they were spotted out together was in June 2017 outside Jimmy Kimmel Live studio in Los Angeles, Boseman was making an appearance on the show. Other public sightings soon followed including at the after-party for Black Panther in 2018 as well as at a basketball all-star game which had Boseman’s Black Panther co-star, Michael B. Jordan in attendance as well.
Despite all of the public sightings, neither Chadwich Boseman nor Taylor publicly confirmed that they were dating but their family came to the rescue of curious fans seeking urgent answers. First to state the obvious was Taylor Ledward’s sister in March 2018. After a fan took to social media to post of photo of Boseman and Lupita Nyongo asking that they continue their Black Panther romance off-screen, a comment by a certain Instagram user with the handle @i_ledz caught the attention of many. The user commented under the photo that his (Boseman’s) real-life queen was gorgeous and “together they embody true love…Not to mention they would make some beautiful babies!.” Tabloid website The Young, Black, & Fabulous (YBF) would later launch an investigation into the comment and discovered that the handle which has now been set to private belonged to Taylor Ledward’s sister.
The next family member to comment on the relationship was Ledward’s grandmother who told In Touch Weekly in April 2018 that her granddaughter was dating Boseman and that they were very happy and respectful of each other.
The first time Chadwick would hint that there was someone special in his life was during the award season of 2019. At the 50th NAACP Image Awards in his acceptance speech, while receiving the Outstanding Actor Award, Boseman said “Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you.” Cameras flashed on Taylor who mouthed “I love you too” in response.
In October 2019, MediaTakeOut reported that Boseman and Taylor Ledward had become engaged after Boseman popped the question while they were on a date in Malibu, California. The source also claimed that the couple had plans to marry in early 2020. Though Boseman did not officially reveal this, it would seem to be the case as revealed after his passing.
Boseman’s sickness and eventual death was indeed shocking to many as the couple always looked elated whenever they were spotted in public. They looked very bubbly when they were last photographed together publicly at an NBA All-Star game in Chicago, Illinois held two days after Valentine’s day in 2020. The couple did not have any kids together.