Chadwick Boseman, a South Carolina born actor, died on Friday after a four-year battle with colon cancer. As tributes continue to pour in for the deceased, reports of Denzel Washington’s kindness to the late ‘Black Panther’ star resurfaced on social media.
In March 2018, Boseman had revealed how the 65-year-old actor and film producer helped pay for him and other students to attend an acting program at Oxford University in England and how he had kept Washington’s donation a secret for years.
“I’ve basically been holding this secret my whole career. When I came back, I got a beneficiary letter and it said Denzel Washington paid for you,” the late 43-year-old movie star told Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show.’
Boseman, who — at that time — was a student of Howard University, had been selected alongside other students to study acting in the UK as part of the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford but they couldn’t afford to go due to financial constraints.
He had recalled how Phylicia Rashad, his teacher, came to their rescue after she reached out to actors, including Washington, for financial aid.
The actor, who first spoke on the donation in a Rolling Stone article, did not reveal details of his sponsor, saying: “I don’t want to say who paid for me. No, it’s not Bill Cosby”.
He had wanted to meet Washington in person before expressing his gratitude.
But during a moving speech at the American Film Institute dinner in 2019 — wherein Washington was honoured with a lifetime achievement award — Boseman narrated how the veteran actor’s generosity impacted his career.
“I know personally that your generosity extends past what you have given on the stage and screen,” he had said.
“Many of you already know the story that Mr. Washington, when asked by Phylicia Rashad to join her in assisting nine theater students from Howard University who had been accepted to a summer acting program at the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford.
“He gracefully and privately agreed to contribute. As fate would have it, I was one of the students that he paid for. Imagine receiving a letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet.”
Boseman went on to say that he owed Washington a huge debt.
“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington. And not just because of me, but my whole cast. That generation stands on your shoulders,” he had concluded.
In a statement, Washington described the late actor as a “gentle soul and brilliant artiste”, adding that his legacies will be remembered for years to come.
“He was a gentle and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career,” his statement on Saturday read.
You can read TheCable Lifestyle’s obituary for Boseman here.
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