KEY POINTS

  • Chadwick Boseman received the posthumous "Hero for the Ages" award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards
  • Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle paid tribute to Boseman at the ceremony
  • The "Avengers" stars discussed how Boseman was a real-life superhero to many people 

Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle paid tribute to their late “Avengers” co-star Chadwick Boseman at the MTV Movie & TV Awards as they revisited the way he lived his life like a true superhero.

The "Iron Man" star and Cheadle who played as War Machine in Marvel's "Avengers" gave a speech to honor Boseman, who received the posthumous award "Hero for the Ages" during the special. MTV said the award "honors a star whose heroism onscreen was only surpassed by the true hero they were offscreen." Downey Jr. and Cheadle revisited the time they worked with the “Black Panther” actor and how he touched their lives.

"There was something different and special about Chadwick Boseman," Downey Jr. said.

Cheadle continued by revisiting the days when they filmed with Boseman and how he made them feel with his unifying presence.

"Each time he stepped on the set, he inspired and influenced everyone there,” Cheadle added.

“And with every role, he created a new legion of fans. He had an incredible power to unify people and our love for his work and our respect for him as a person. The way he lived his life united the people behind the higher purpose and that would be his legacy.”

Meanwhile, the "Sherlock Holmes" actor praised how Boseman lived like a superhero in real life.

“The ‘Avengers’ of all have been given the opportunity to portray characters that are meaningful and hopefully, memorable,” Downey Jr. added. “Mr. Boseman truly embodied what it meant to be a superhero. His impact is a ground-breaking leading man, an icon onscreen. It won't be quantified by the box office records you broke but by the legions of fans who will celebrate him for many years to come."

Aside from playing the role of the king and protector of Wakanda, he also portrayed real-life characters who changed the world like Thurgood Marshall, James Brown and Jackie Robinson. He brought "humanity and truth" in portraying those individuals who were larger than life and did it so well to honor their memories.

Boseman also did selfless and inspirational deeds when he was alive. He was there for his family and friends despite his own battle.

"He was the most heroic, by just being Chad," Downey Jr. added. "That's when he was bigger than anyone he played on screen.”

Several netizens also paid tribute to the "42" actor on Twitter. Many of them were still devastated by his sudden death and considered him their greatest hero.

"There will never be anyone else like him, he was the greatest hero of all time onscreen and offscreen. He is my superhero," one commented.

"A superhero," another added with folded hands emoji.

"Thank you for this tribute mtv. Rip the king Chadwick Boseman," a third user wrote.

Boseman died in September and his passing shocked many because they never knew that he had been battling cancer in the past four years. He already struggled with cancer when he filmed several of his movies, including "Black Panther."

Boseman decided to keep his illness a secret because his mom taught him not to have people fuss over him and he was very private, his longtime agent Michael Greene said.

"He also felt in this business that people trip out about things, and he was a very, very private person," he explained.

Avengers stars
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 15: (L-R) Actors Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, and Chris Hemsworth, producer Kevin Feige, and actors Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, and Anthony Mackie of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR took part today in the Walt Disney Studios live action presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR will be released in U.S. theaters on May 4, 2018. Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
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