Robert Downey Jr. said Chadwick Boseman “truly embodied what it meant to be a superhero”.

The ‘Black Panther’ star passed away in August at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer, and on Sunday (06.12.20), he was posthumously honoured with the Hero of the Ages award at the 2020 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by MTV (@mtv)

The award – which recognises stars who are heroes both on and off screen – was presented to the late actor by two members of his Marvel family, Don Cheadle and Robert Downey Jr, and the latter described Chadwick as an “icon”.

Robert said: “The second you first saw him onscreen or had the opportunity to meet him in person, his energy and intensity was undeniable.

“There was something different and special about Chadwick Boseman. Mr. Boseman truly embodied what it meant to be a superhero. His impact as a groundbreaking leading man, as an icon on screen … it won’t be quantified by the box office records he broke but by the legion of fans who will celebrate him for many years to come.

“He was the most heroic when just being Chad. That’s when he was bigger than anyone he played onscreen.”

And Don went on to praise Chadwick’s “incredible power to unify people”.

He added: “With every role he created a new legion of fans. He has an incredible power to unify people. The way he lived his life united people behind a higher purpose – and that will be his legacy.”

The posthumous honour comes as Chadwick was recently announced as the recipient of the actor tribute at the 2021 Gotham Awards, where his ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ co-star Viola Davis will be honoured with the actress equivalent.

Chadwick is also only the second actor to receive a tribute posthumously, after James Gandolfini in 2013.