Denzel Washington is just the latest actor to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman in the wake of his passing.
“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 his statement released by his rep to CNN. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”
Ironically, Washington played a pivotal role in Boseman’s acting career. Washington funded Boseman’s tuition for the British Drama Academy’s Midsummer program.
For Washington’s American Film Institute tribute, Boseman acknowledged how the Oscar-winning actor paved the way for many Black actors, Black actresses and Black-centered films like Black Panther.
“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said. “And not just because of me, but my whole cast — that generation — stands on your shoulders.”
Boseman passed away in Los Angeles on Friday at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Washington is one of the producers behind Boseman’s final acting project, Ma Rainey’ Black Bottom, which will be on Netflix this fall.