Death continues to remain one of life’s inevitabilities, even if you are a Marvel superhero. Over the years, the MCU has introduced us to many talented actors, actors we’ve come to fall in love with both on and off screen. Sadly, either due to old age or ill health, we’ve lost some of these beloved actors to the cold hands of death.
Here’s a list of 6 MCU actors that have passed away over the years;
1. William Hurt – Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross
One of the earliest actors to join the newly budding MCU way back in 2008, William McChord Hurt made his debut in The Incredible Hulk, starring as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, a ruthless United States General who revives the super-soldier program with the aim of creating a weapon but ends up creating both the Hulk and the Abomination.
One of the few actors to be retained from the film, Hurt went on to reprise his role as Thunderbolt Ross in four more films, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame (cameo), and Black Widow (Hurt’s final appearance).
In May 2018, Hurt announced his real life battle with prostrate cancer. He passed on from complications of the disease in 2022. He was 71.
2. Gaspard Ulliel – Anton Mogart
Gaspard Ulliel was talented French actor known for many impressive roles before his untimely passing in January 2021. He portrayed a young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising in 2007 and fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in the French biopic Saint Laurent in 2014.
He made his first and only appearance in the third episode of the Disney+ series Moon Knight as the wealthy antiquities collector, Anton Mogart. Sadly, Ulliel died in a tragic skiing accident before the show’s premiere. He was 37 years old.
3. Garry Shandling – Senator Stern
He might have made only two film appearances in the MCU but any true fan remembers the “I’ve successfully privatized world peace” scene at the beginning of Iron Man 2. Well, seated on the opposite side of Tony Stark at that little senate hearing was none other than the secret Hydra agent Senator Stern played expertly by Garry Shandling.
Shandling was a renowned actor, writer, comedian, director, and producer with a career spanning almost four decades, earning multiple award nominations including 19 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes.
Shandling passed away in March 2016 at age 66 from a pulmonary embolism.
4. Miguel Ferrer — Vice President Rodriguez
You’re probably thinking “that’s the guy from Robocop“, and you would be right. the shady junior executive guy responsible for project Robocop did feature in the MCU.
Amongst Miguel Ferrer’s many on-screen performances was Rodriguez in Iron Man 3, the Vice president who sold his boss out to Adrian Kilian and his goons.
Ferrer died in 2017 at age 61 from heart failure and throat cancer complications.
5. Stan Lee – Stan Lee
Stan Lee might not technically be an actor in the MCU but his beautiful little cameo appearances in pretty much every Marvel film until his death qualifies him to be on our list.
Alongside Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Stan Lee co-created most Marvel comic characters we’ve come to love and that have appeared in the MCU since its conception in 2008. After he retired from Marvel comics, Stan Lee remained a recognizable figure in the MCU, receiving executive producer credit for all MCU’s films making him the highest-grossing person in film of all time.
Stan Lee passed on in 2018, a month after his wife of 69 years. He was 95 years old.
6. Chadwick Boseman – King T’challa
As far as an actor embodying a movie character so well it becomes difficult to tell them apart, Chadwick Boseman and his role as King T’challa would be the perfect example.
Boseman made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, followed shortly by his full feature film Black Panther in 2018. Following his performance, Boseman stole the hearts of fans all over becoming an iconic figure to many. He also appeared in Avengers films Infinity War and Endgame.
News of Chadwick’s passing broke in 2020 upon which the public learnt of the actor’s long battle with colon cancer.
In addition to King T’challa, Chadwick played other groundbreaking roles like James Brown in Get On Up, Jackie Robinson in 42, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.