Denzel Washington honors Chadwick Boseman, who he was secretly the benefactor to years ago

Denzel Washington and Chadwick Boseman’s relationship goes way back.

Hollywood is still mourning the loss of actor, Chadwick Boseman who passed away last week after fighting a four-year battle with colon cancer. The world has been remembering Boseman not only for his incredible work but also for his kind soul.

Actor, Denzel Washington is one of the many actors who paid tribute to the late “Black Panther” star. Washington’s rep released a statement to CNN saying, “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’s statement read.

Aside from being fellow actors, Washington and Boseman actually have a special bond due to the 65-year-old’s kind gesture to a young Boseman years ago.

Boseman was a student of Howard University in the late ‘90s and “The Cosby Show,” actress Phylicia Rashād was one of Boseman’s teachers, who also became his mentor, according to CNN.

At the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award event in 2019, Boseman delivered a moving speech dedicated to Washington, explaining the story of when Boseman was a young student and how Washington helped him at the time.

“Many of you already know the story that Mr. Washington was 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,” Boseman said in his speech.

He continued, “As fate would have it, I was one of the students that he paid for. 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.”

In addition to Washington, countless celebs took to social media to pay their respects to the 43-year-old late actor. Boseman’s co-star in “Black Panther,” Michael B. Jordan, wrote an emotional tribute to his friend in an Instagram post. The post was a series of photos of Boseman and Jordan in different poses laughing and smiling together. It was captioned, “I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time.” The caption continued on and was beautifully written.

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I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time. One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked , and now the truth of that means more to me than ever. Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness. I wish we had more time. Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here. I wish we had more time. I'm more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. “Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother.

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Actor, Will Smith also took to Instagram to share his condolences, saying “The Seeds of your magnificent contributions will be blossoming in our hearts forever. You made us proud to be us. Thank You!”