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Chadwick Boseman’s once-secret benefactor Denzel Washington pays tribute

Denzel Washington – who paid for Chadwick Boseman to study acting in the UK – has paid tribute after the star died at the age of 43.

Double Oscar-winner Washington, 65, described the Black Panther actor as a “gentle soul and brilliant artist”.

Boseman revealed in 2018 that Washington paid the fees for an acting course in Oxford almost 20 years before.

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Boseman was at university in the US when he attended a summer course at the British American Drama Academy (Bada) in the UK.

He told how Washington “gracefully and privately” paid for several students to attend and he later discovered who his benefactor was.

“Imagine receiving a 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.

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Washington paid tribute to Boseman, as an actor and human being.

“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,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

“God bless Chadwick Boseman.”

The British American Drama Academy said it was “deeply saddened” by Boseman’s death in a post on Instagram, sharing a picture of the actor from 1998.

In the post, former dean and director Ian Wooldridge, who worked with Boseman on Romeo And Juliet, said: “Chadwick was diligent, enthusiastic, with a great wit; generous and a joy to work with in the room.

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“He was always smiling. He had a tremendous relationship with language and text. He knew how to use it and relish it.

“His body of work is immense for someone who was still so young. He was special.”⁣

The post said that actors auditioning for the academy had told of their “deep admiration for Chadwick and how his thoughtful and moving performances influenced their work”.

“Many have said that they were auditioning specifically to train at Bada so as to follow in his footsteps,” it added.⁣“This has only increased in recent years and Chadwick’s enduring legacy will include not just his talent, his kindness, the people he embodied and the characters he brought to life, but also the next generation of talented actors whom he inspired.⁣”

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