Dorothy Steel, the actress who played a tribal elder on the popular marvel movie, Black Panther, passed away at age 95 last Friday morning, October 15, at her home in Detroit.
Prior to her death, Steel was in the middle of filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which started production this past June. The Marvel franchise reportedly flew her home so she could spend her final moments with her loved ones.
Dorothy didn’t begin pursuing acting until she was 88. Her earliest credit is in 2015 when she played Mrs. Williams in “The Trouble With Going Somewhere.” However, her role as the elder of the Merchant Tribe in Black Panther was her feature film debut.
Steel has acted in several other movies, including Poms and Daisy Winters. She also appeared on a few television shows such as BET’s “The Oval” and Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners.” Dorothy also played a village elder in “Jumanji: The Next Level.”
Mourning her, fellow actress Lupita Nyong’o said Dorothy Steel often joked on set that she may not be there for the next day of shooting and it made her laugh. She added that she will be missed on set.
“I will miss Miss Dorothy Steel on the Black Panther 2 set. She was the realest. Wildly witty and very warm. We all enjoyed her presence. She was dedicated to her role in the movie and showed up with delightful enthusiasm. She often joked that she may not be here for the next day of shooting and it made me laugh uncomfortably. But she understood her own morality and was not precious about her departure. It seems she lived thoroughly and was very present in the moment. That started acting in her late 80s is cause for great admiration. Just learning that fact showed me that it is never too late to start, to learn, and to reach to fulfill your potential.
May we all be as bold to spend our days going after what we want, doing what we love, being who we want to be, without apology or reservation. And may we never give up on our timeline!” Lupita wrote.