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 Martin Luther 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.
Ava DuVernay, who has directed a string of powerful films and documentaries including Selma, about the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, wrote “may you have a beautiful return, King.”
Journalist Clint Smith echoed others on Twitter writing about how much Black Panther meant to his young son who idolised T’Challa, the character played by Mr Boseman.
Last year Mr Boseman said the film had changed what it meant to be “young, gifted and black”.