Denzel Washington, Who Paid for Chadwick Boseman’s Oxford Acting Classes, Reacts to Actor’s Death
"He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman," Washington wrote.
The Academy Award-winning actor had a unique relationship with the Black Panther star.
In 2018, Boseman revealed the story of how Washington once paid for his tuition to attend a theatre program at Oxford University sometime back in the '90s.
At the time a student at Howard University, Boseman, along with several other students, were accepted into a prestigious acting program. Unable to afford the expensive tuition, their teacher, Phylicia Rashad, reached out to Washington, who privately footed the bill.
While honoring Washington with the Life Achievement Award at the 2019 AFI awards show, Boseman spoke of Washington's immeasurable impact on his life and career.
"I know personally that your generosity extends past what you have given on the stage and screen," Boseman told Washington during his tribute. "Imagine receiving a letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other that the dopest actor on the planet."
"An offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope. A bud of faith. There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington," he added. "Let he who has watered be watered, let he who has given be given too."
Washington later joked about paying for Boseman's tuition during an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
"I saw Ryan Coogler and Chad, and he said, 'Oh, you know, I just wanted to thank you for paying,' and I said, yeah, that's why I'm here. I'm not here to see — I liked the movie, Black Panther, yeah, good, Wakanda Forever, but where's my money?'" Washington quipped.
Coincidentally, Boseman made paying it forward a mission during his life through actions such as visiting and providing toys for hospitalized children with cancer, as well as donating millions to various charities and advocating for Black Lives Matter.
Boseman passed away of colon cancer on Friday, August 28. He was 43.