Denzel Washington has issued a statement in the wake of the news of Chadwick Boseman's passing. Washington, who secretly paid for Chadwick Boseman's studies at Oxford University, called Boseman a "gentle soul" with an incredible talent. "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," Denzel Washington said in a statement.

News broke of Chadwick Boseman's death last night. His family issued a statement via his official Instagram page revealing that the actor had been battling colon cancer since his diagnosis in 2016. "A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy," the statement reads.

Washington serves as the producer for Chadwick Boseman's final film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Netflix had set up a virtual preview of the film on Monday which they've announced has been pushed back following news of Chadwick Boseman's passing. 

We send our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Chadwick Boseman. Rest In Peace.