Following the tragic news Chadwick Boseman had lost his battle with colon cancer, one story that has resurfaced is the fact that Denzel Washington was the secret benefactor behind his acting classes.
In a statement following the death of the 43-year-old Black Panther star, Denzel called him a ‘brilliant artist’.
“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,” Denzel said.
Denzel and Chadwick’s connection goes back to the actor’s college days when he was studying directing.
As part of his degree he was required to take acting classes and Chadwick’s teacher at the time (The Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad) wanted him to enrol in a summer course at Oxford.
But Chadwick couldn’t pay for those classes so Phylicia asked a friend to help with his tuition.
Only later would he realised that it was Denzel Washington who provided the funds.
“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,” Chadwick said in 2018 during a Tonight Show interview with Jimmy Fallon.
“I was like, 'What?!' I never wanted to say that until I met him.”
Chadwick and Denzel finally met in person at the 2018 NYC premiere of Black Panther. Apparently when he introduced himself and told the story about Oxford, Denzel cracked, “Oh so that's why I'm here? You owe me money. I came to collect!”
Tributes for Chadwick have been flooding in from fellow actors and sporting stars after his family confirmed he had lost his battle with cancer on Friday.
Chawick was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in the statement.
“From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more - all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
He had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis.