Tributes are being paid to US actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther in the celebrated superhero film set in a fictional African nation, after he died on Friday aged 43.
“This is a crushing blow,” wrote director Jordan Peele.
The Black Panther rallying cry “Wakanda Forever” trended online, as celebrities, civil rights activities and fans posted emotional messages.
The actor’s cancer diagnosis was not publicly known.
“What a gentle gifted soul. Showing us all that greatness between surgeries and chemotherapy. This is what dignity looks like,” wrote TV star and author Oprah Winfrey.
The eldest son of civil rights activist MartinLuther King said Mr Boseman “brought history to life” in his depictions of prominent black individuals including baseball player Jackie Robinson and soul singer James Brown.
Award-winning musician John Legend called Mr Boseman “a bright light [who] brought grace, elegance and power to everything he did. He always seemed to carry our ancestors with him”.
Fellow Marvel stars shared their feelings of loss on Twitter and Instagram. Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, wrote “All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of Chadwick Boseman.”
Tom Holland who is currently playing Spiderman said the actor was “even more of a hero off screen” and called him a role model for millions around the world.