The late Chadwick Boseman won Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday for playing T’Challa one last time in the Disney+ animated series “What If…?”
In his final performance before his death from colon cancer in 2020, Boseman put a new spin on his “Black Panther” character, playing him as Star Lord T’Challa.
Boseman was one of three actors to earn posthumous Emmy nominations this year, alongside Norm MacDonald and Jessica Walter, who was nominated for “Archer” in the same category as Boseman and is the only performer to earn two post-death Emmy nods (she was nominated for “Archer” last year after passing away).
“When I learned that Chadwick had been nominated for this award, I started thinking about everything that was going on when he was recording it, what was going on in the world and what was going on in our world and being in such awe of his commitment and his dedication,” Boseman’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward said while accepting the award. “What a beautifully-aligned moment it really is, that one of the last things he would work on would not only be revisiting a character that was so important to him in his career and to the world, but also that it would be an exploration of something new, diving into a new potential future.”
“Particularly with everything he said about purpose and finding the reason that you are here on the planet at this very time and how you can’t understand your purpose unless you’re willing to ask, ‘What if?’ Unless you’re willing to say, ‘What if the universe is conspiring in my favor? What if it’s me?’ So thank you,” Ledward said.
Twenty-six actors have been nominated for posthumous Emmys and five have won: Boseman, Alice Pearce (comedy supporting actress, “Bewitched,” 1966); David Burns (supporting actor in TV movie, “The Price,” 1971), Diana Hyland (supporting actress in TV movie, “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” 1977) and Raul Julia (lead actor in a TV movie, “The Burning Season,” 1995).
(Marion Lorne, for “Bewitched;” Ingrid Bergman, for “A Woman Called Golda”; and Audrey Hepburn, for “Gardens of the World With Audrey Hepburn,” also won Emmys after they died, but were alive when nominated.)
Competition in Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance was stiff this year: In addition to Walter, Boseman beat Julie Andrews (“Bridgerton”), F. Murray Abraham (“Moon Knight”), Stanley Tucci (“Central Park”), Jeffrey Wright (“What If…?”) and Maya Rudolph (“Big Mouth”), who won here in 2021 and 2020.
Boseman was also nominated for a posthumous Best Actor Oscar in 2021 for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” He lost to Anthony Hopkins in “The Father.”