Chadwick Boseman’s Widow Simone Ledward Makes Rare Appearance to Receive Actor’s Tribute at 2020 Gotham Awards

 Taylor Simone Ledward and Chadwick Boseman attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Taylor Simone Ledward and Chadwick Boseman attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian (Getty Images)

On Monday night, the 30th Annual Gotham Awards took place both virtually and in person at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Even though the format of the night’s event was anything but ordinary, the awards still delivered big on the wins—and the emotion.


Chief among them was Chadwick Boseman, who posthumously received the annual Actors Tribute, presented by Moonlight’s Andre Holland. Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward made a rare virtual appearance, tearfully accepting the award on her late husband’s behalf.

He is the most honest person I’d ever met. He actively searched for it, in himself, those around him and the moment. The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid. But if one does not live in truth, then it’s impossible to live life. So it became how he lived his life, day in and day out. Imperfect but determined. He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. He developed his understanding of what it meant to be the one, the none and the all. ‘A vessel to be poured into and out of,’ he’d said.

She added, “It is my honor to receive this award on behalf of my husband, an acknowledgement of not only his profound work but on his impact on this industry and this world. Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us, thank you.”

Other notable wins of the night include Viola Davis who received the Actress Tribute, Micheala Coel’s I May Destroy You for Breakthrough Series Short Format, the Regina King led Watchmen for Breakthrough Series Long Format, One Night In Miami’s Kingsley Ben-Adir for Breakthrough Actor, Radha Blank’s The Forty-Year-Old Version for Best Screenplay and Nicole Beharie who took home the award for Best Actress in Miss Juneteenth.

Former Sleepy Hollow star Beharie took to Instagram to further express her gratitude and shock, writing:

Shocked! Humbled. I’ve never won anything and I didn’t expect it...I wanted to say so much more but had a momentary mental lapse. So here I must Thank IFP, Gotham Awards and Jeff Sharp for recognizing our tiny movie with a big heart. For loving movies and supporting the work like you do. I want to thank Vertical Entertainment and the Crew for working in the sweltering Texas summer. To the incomparable Kendrick Sampson for grounding me and Alexis Chikaeze for being everything a mother could hope for. The strength and tenacity of our director Channing Godfrey Peoples and to the women we had the honor of portraying. The bedrock of our communities, keeping it altogether and pushing us to progress (up until even last week, GA vote). And the ancestors, the history we commemorate on Juneteenth!!!Of FREEDOM, it’s weighty and delayed arrival... our constant fight and negotiation for it...And to the tribe of technicians and creatives, agents and actors who make this work, we are a motley crew, I’m honored to be in the number. Thank you.


Director and filmmaker Steve McQueen and actor Jeffrey Wright were also recognized with the Director’s Tribute and Made in N.Y. Award, respectively.