Denzel Washington has paid tribute to ‘brilliant’ Chadwick Boseman, after it was announced the Black Panther star has died following a battle with cancer.

The two actors had a close bond, with Chadwick often speaking about how Denzel funded the programme that sent him to acting school, alongside actress Phylicia Rashād.

The Training Day star told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘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.’

Speaking ahead of Denzel being presented with the AFI Life Achievement Award last year, Chadwick gave a moving speech, telling him: ‘I know personally that your generosity extends past what you have given on the stage and screen.

‘Many of you already know that the story that Mr Washington, when asked by Phylicia Rashād to join her in assisting nine theatre students from Howard University who had been accepted to a summer acting programme at the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford, he gracefully and privately agreed to contribute.

Halle Berry tweeted: ‘Here’s to an incredible man with immeasurable talent, who leaned into life regardless of his personal battles.

‘You never truly know what the people around you might be going through – treat them with kindness and cherish every minute you have together. RIP #ChadwickBoseman.’

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