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"Black Panther" Atlanta Screening

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The crew of Black Panther and its upcoming sequel suffered a huge loss with the death of lead star Chadwick Boseman last year, and unfortunately, the franchise has now lost another prominent cast member following reports that 95-year-old “Merchant Tribe Elder” actress Dorothy Steel has passed away.

Steel embarked on a truly inspiring acting career that was quite unique being that it only began less than a decade ago when she was 88 years old. Her agent, Cindy Butler, confirmed the news via a Facebook post, writing, “It’s with a Heavy heart I announce this morning Dorothy Steel transitioned this morning in her hometown of Detroit,” also adding, “That is what she wanted to be home.”

As Butler confirmed in the statement (seen above), some of Dorothy’s roles over the past seven years include a part in 2019’s Jumanji: The Next Level and appearing as “Mother Harris” in the fan-favorite Bounce TV series Saints & Sinners. She got her official start back in 2015 on the YouTube series, The Trouble with Going Somewhere, and was set to reprise her role as Merchant Tribe Elder in next year’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The Detroit actress will truly be missed, and we’re almost certain she would’ve gone on to have an even more decorated career in Hollywood if given a few more years to reach centenarian status. Butler also stated that Dorothy received calls for a potential biopic on her life, so we may see her trailblazing life story play out on film in the near future. Either way, we’ll always be grateful for the work she gave us during her time here on Earth.

Watch the late Dorothy Steel’s viral run-in with Steve Harvey from 2018 below, and try not to shed a tear:


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Dorothy Steel, The ‘Black Panther’ Elder Who Began Acting At 88, Passes Away At 95  was originally published on