“He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist who will stay with us forever through his iconic performances throughout his short but famous career,” Washington said in a statement. “God bless Chadwick Bosman.”
On Sunday night, ABC aired the special “Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute For A King” after the broadcast of “Black Panther” without a commercial broadcast.
During the special famous actress Philicia Rashad told the story of the time when she mentored Bozeman while teaching at Howard University, when he was a student there.
Rashad said she received a call that a group of her students had auditioned and been accepted into the British Drama Academy Cup program, but would not attend because they could not afford it.
“I called a friend of mine and he called me and we talked about it for about five minutes and he said, ̵
This friend was from Washington, and Bozeman gratefully told the story last year during a speech in Washington’s honor when Washington was chosen to receive the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
“By fate, I was one of the students he paid for,” Boseman said. “Imagine that you received the letter, that your training for this summer was paid for, and that your benefactor was none other than the best actor on the planet.”
Boseman added that he knew that his story was not the only one of its kind, and added that “the contribution of a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope, a bud of faith.”
“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Bozeman said. “And not just because of me, but my entire cast – this generation – is on your shoulders.”
Visibly excited, Washington gave Bozeman a standing ovation after his speech.