Inside Chadwick Boseman's Relationship With Denzel Washington

The world learned very sad news this weekend — Chadwick Boseman passed away after a secret battle with colon cancer according to People. The 43-year-old Black Panther actor was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, the outlet reports, which then progressed to stage IV. He never publicly talked about his illness, and instead, his fans only learned about it via an Instagram post from his team. The shocking post read in part, "It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.⁣" It went on to say, "A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much." The post also shared the details of the star's final moments: "He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side."

Boseman counted many fellow celebrities as friends, and Denzel Washington was one. The legendary actor paid tribute to the young star via a statement 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. God bless Chadwick Boseman" (via Entertainment Weekly). But Washington was more than a friend to the late actor.

Denzel Washington was a beneficiary for Chadwick Boseman

Boseman revealed in 2018 that Washington had paid for him to attend acting classes at Oxford University in England. "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," Boseman told Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on The Tonight Show (via Insider).

Interestingly, Washington was once considered for a role in Black Panther according to Screen Rant. The duo met at the New York premier of the movie (via BBC). It was during this encounter that Boseman personally thanked Washington for his support.

Washington is far from the only star who has publicly spoken out about their immense grief following the star's passing. Angela Bassett, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Don Cheadle have also expressed their deep sadness over the actor's death, as well as how much they admired and respected him.