The Tragic Death Of Black Panther Actor Dorothy Steel

Actor Dorothy Steel, known for her role in 2018's "Black Panther," has died at age 95. Steel's agent Cindy Butler broke the news on Facebook, writing, "It's with a Heavy heart I announce this morning Dorothy Steel transitioned this morning in her hometown of Detroit. That is what she wanted to be home." She continued, "Thank you Ms. Dorothy for giving me the opportunity to ride this wave with you."

Steel first began acting at the age of 88, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actor appeared in both TV and film, with roles in "The Trouble With Going Somewhere," "Merry Christmas Baby," and "Daisy Winters."

"Thank you to the world for loving on her from afar," added Butler to the statement. "I received calls from all over the world wanting to interview or do a Bio pic of her life. She was very selective."

Before her October 15 death, Steel opened up to Steve Harvey about her journey to the big screen and why she first said no to "Black Panther."

Dorothy Steel almost turned down Black Panther

Back in 2018, Dorothy Steel sat down on "The Steve Harvey Show" after creating a viral video asking to be on his show. In the interview, Steel revealed how she initially turned down the opportunity to audition for "Black Panther," telling her agent, "There is no way I'm going to be in no comic strip at my age." Steel was 92 by the time "Black Panther" was released in theaters. 

"She was very persistent," Steel told Harvey of her agent Cindy Butler's persistence in getting her to do "Black Panther." "I really have to give her credit, because she said, 'Ms. Dorothy, you can do this.'" The actor went on to tell the story behind how her grandson was the last bit of encouragement she needed to accept the role, telling his grandmother, "You always talking about stepping out on nothing, let your faith take you there." Steel's faith, along with her daily practice of a Nelson Mandela speech, led her to join the cast of what became a $1.3 billion movie. "It makes me feel really good to be a part of something that ... can I say Black? Wakanda Forever!" said Steel. Per The Hollywood Reporter, her character was a tribe elder in the film.

The actor's publicist revealed to WSB-TV upon her death that Steel was on set filming the sequel to the film in Atlanta, adding, "She went out strong."