Denzel Washington paid for Chadwick Boseman to attend a drama program at Oxford

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I am still devastated that Chadwick Boseman passed away on Friday. Every time I see a picture or tribute a fresh wave of tears well up. It would seem that Chadwick’s appeal was transcendent and the impact of his short career was nothing short of spectacular.

We know that while Chadwick was battling stage three colon cancer, he was filming several movies between treatments and surgeries. He was also visiting terminally ill children while private fighting his own illness.

Another story that has resurfaced is how Denzel Washington paid for Chadwick Boseman to attend a prestigious summer drama program at Oxford when he was a student at Howard University. Chadwick said that he wouldn’t be who he was if it weren’t for the generosity of Denzel Washington then. People has more about the story:

Last year, Boseman shared the full story while honoring Washington before the Malcolm X actor accepted the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Many of you already know the story that Mr. Washington, when 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, gracefully and privately agreed to contribute,” Boseman said in June 2019.

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

“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman later added.

On the Oscars red carpet a year prior, Boseman opened up about the moment when he finally got a chance to thank Washington for his support.

“It was a fun conversation. The first thing he said was, ‘You owe me money! I came to collect!’” Boseman recalled to ABC’s Michael Strahan at the time. “It was so deep, I can’t even go into it right now. We sort of just talked about what’s been happening, what’s about to happen.”

[From People]

I’ve been a fan of Chadwick’s since I first saw him in Get On Up. I told a friend that he played James Brown better than James Brown. I left the theater wanting to know who he was. I knew he would be doing great things. When it was announced that he’d play Black Panther in the MCU, I got really excited. But the his execution of the role was more than I could hope for as a Marvel fan.

I saw Black Panther five times in theaters and paid for three of my friends to attend showings. It was a moment and Chadwick was at the center of a major cultural movement. He will always be remembered for his portrayal of Black Panther and several iconic black figures. Learning about the generosity of Denzel Washington also left an impression on me. Denzel didn’t know that one day that young man he helped would end up being a star.

I believe that Chadwick’s generosity, especially when it came to the ill children he visited, not only came from his generous soul but also with the thought that he wouldn’t be where he was if it wasn’t for the thoughtfulness of Denzel Washington. In fact he introduced Denzel at the This full circle moment also proves how connected we are and is the best example of paying it forward.

Here is the full video of that tribute:

Here’s Chadwick’s tribute to Denzel, who received the AFI Life Achievement Award:

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photos credit: Avalon.red and WENN

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10 Responses to “Denzel Washington paid for Chadwick Boseman to attend a drama program at Oxford”

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  1. BlueSky says:

    The governor of SC ordered the flags to be flown at half staff yesterday in his honor.

  2. TheOriginalMia says:

    I’m with you. He made a huge impression on me and I looked forward to his movies. Just watched 21 Bridges last month. Knowing he filmed it while battling cancer is mind blowing. The tribute he gave to Denzel brought tears to my eyes. Saying he stood on Denzel’s shoulders and that there wouldn’t be a BP without him just solidified the impact of both actors in Hollywood. I’m rambling but thank you Denzel for allowing Chadwick to grace our screens with his talents.

  3. pk says:

    What a great thing for Denzel to do. You can tell Chadwick really appreciated it and never forgot it. I don’t understand why the world had to lose such a good person. There aren’t many good ones left…we needed him. This is just so sad…I can’t even process it…

    I saw that tribute last night on ABC and wow…tears…and more tears…

  4. MarcelMarcel says:

    This is such a glorious story and a beautiful example of generosity is elemental when it comes to creativity. Denzel Washington valued his craft so much that he helped another black
    man flourish. And the world is better for the work that Chadwick Boseman made.
    I loved loved loved all the costumes & set design in Black Panther. It’d be awesome to have a hard copy coffee table book with photos.

    • Tiffany says:

      Denzel doing this ain’t new. When asked, he has done things like this before. I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea but he does this on the regular and just go on about his business.

  5. emmy says:

    I’m going to save 21 Bridges for a weekend but I’m watching BP tonight. Haven’t seen it in a while, it’s so good and just so much fun. Can’t believe we only got one with him.

  6. LeonsMomma says:

    Denzel has been funding theater scholarships for a long time. He did the Dillard University commencement speech a few years ago—it was really good—but before he was at a very small meet-and-greet because he wanted to meet/talk to the University students who were benefiting from the scholarship. He showed up by himself and focused on talking to the students vs. the school and community VIPs in the room. Totally respected that.
    Also, the fun part was watching all the women in the room swoon when he walked in. For women of a certain age, Denzel was and still it.
    Denzel set a great example and Chadwick was well on his way to creating his own path paying it forward when he passed away.

  7. Nanea says:

    So good of Phylicia Rashad to point out Chad’s talent to Denzel Washington.

    Otherwise he’d probably have become a prolific director or script writer, but the world would have missed out on a giant of his craft, and, according to many of his fellow actors, one of the most prepared, professional and genuinely nicest people in the movie business.

    (… and, quite selfishly, I still can’t stop crying when I am reminded of what we have lost. This is only the second time a celeb death has affected me in this way, the first time was Prince)

  8. BC says:

    Wow! That Denzel clip of Chadwick appreciating him! I had heard this story in his interviews a thousand times during the BP rollout but wow I had NEVER seen that clip of Denzel being celebrated. When he said “Let him who has water be watered”…i lost it…i think Denzel was about to too. To be celebrated whilst alive is humbling and uncomfortable but so powerful because you see, you see that its not about you, youre a vessel of the universe, a channel through which the universe will carry out its biggest task if you let it: that of transformation. Wow. This moment is so poignant now. I cant speak for Denzel but it cant be easy losing a mentee. I hope he takes heart and knows that the work is only begun and not ended. By helping Chadwick , it led to BP which inspired many black children and who knows, who knows where that will lead? Im so glad Denzel and Chadwick said yes at a time and to things they couldve easily said no to. Denzel didnt have to donate but he chose to. Chadwick didnt have to take on BP at the height of his diagnosis, but he willingly did and brought it to life…the rest is history. And im here for it. Rest in peace King. Indeed, may God protect Denzel. Ps Denzel has been my fave crush for years, when Chadwick showed up in that long, regal tunic, i dumped him (Denzel) lol.

  9. Chelsea Poole says:

    Oh, BADA! (Aka “Shakespeare Boot Camp”) Great program, produces great actors; did not realize we were alums. RIP Bozeman.