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Before his untimely passing, Denzel Washington recalls telling Chadwick Boseman to marry his wife, Simone Ledward.

47th AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Denzel Washington - Arrivals

Source: Amy Sussman / Getty

During a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Washington spoke about his experience working with the late actor on his last project, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, in which he recalled telling Boseman marry Ledward after watching her care for him on set.

“It’s fascinating that nobody knew,” Washington said of Boseman’s private battle with cancer. “Well, credit to him. He kept it to himself. It was nobody’s business. He was there to deliver and he delivered.”

“Certain members of his team knew. His wife was there. They weren’t even married yet,” Denzel continued. “And I used to watch how she took care of him, and I actually said to him, I said, ‘Man, you know, you need to put a ring on that finger,’ cause she kept her eye on him and she watched him. And I’m like, ‘Man, she loves that guy.’ You know, but I didn’t know what we know now.”

Clearly, Boseman took what his mentor said to heart. The couple was only dating at the time, but got married sometime before the Black Panther star’s death in August, four years after he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. His family confirmed that the couple had secretly wed when announcing his death back in August.

In 2019, at the 50th NAACP Image Awards, Chadwick received the award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, where he paid tribute to his then-girlfriend in his acceptance speech.

“Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you,” Boseman said in his speech as Ledward mouthed, “I love you” right back.


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