Denzel Washington says he’ll remember Chadwick Boseman as a “gentle soul.”

“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,” Washington said in a statement about the late Black Panther star. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”

Boseman died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with stage IV colon cancer, accordingto his family’s statement on social media.

Boseman and Washington have history together.  During his undergraduate days at Howard University, Boseman and eight other students were accepted into a summer acting program at the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford — but Boseman couldn’t afford to go. Washington decided to “privately” cover their tuition fees when asked by actress Phylicia Rashad, who was a professor at Howard at the time.

Boseman thanked Washington for his “generosity” at the American Film Institute Awards last year, where Washington received the 47th American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.

“Imagine receiving the letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet,” Boseman said then. “I have no doubt there are similar stories at Boys and Girls Clubs and theaters and churches across the country where I know you have also inspired and motivated others.”

“An offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope, a bud of faith,” Boseman added. “There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington.”

Washington also served as a producer on Boseman’s last film before his death, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which has since been delayed.

By Rachel George
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