Chadwick Boseman Was Honored During the 2022 Oscars Nominations

Chadwick Boseman was honored Tuesday morning when Phylicia Rashad announced the nominees for the 2022 Best Actor Oscar with Howard University students. Boseman was a Howard graduate, and Rashad is the dean of the university's Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. One of this year's nominees is Denzel Washington, who produced the movie that earned Boseman his only Oscar nod, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

"All of our students here are so inspired by Chadwick Boseman, a Howard grad who was so committed to this university," Rashad said Tuesday morning, reports PEOPLE. "And, as you know, Chadwick was nominated last year for Best Actor, and we are so honored to announce the nominees in this category." Student John Woods III then announced the nominees.

Last year, Boseman earned a posthumous nomination for Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, but lost to The Father actor Anthony Hopkins. This year, Washington was nominated for The Tragedy of Macbeth. The other Best Actor nominees are Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick... Boom!) and Will Smith (King Richard).

Boseman idolized Washington, who unknowingly helped the Black Panther star. When Rashad asked Washington to help her send Howard University students to an acting program at Oxford University in England, Washington agreed to contribute. "As fate would have it, I was one of the students that he paid for," Boseman explained during the 2019 American Film Institute tribute to Washington. "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 died in August 2020 at age 43, following a private battle with colon cancer. In a recent interview with Variety, Washington said even he didn't know Boseman was suffering behind the scenes when he made Ma Rainey. "A man among men," Washington told Variety. "He suffered quietly. He made the movie, and nobody knew. I didn't know. He never said a peep about it. He just did his job. I wondered if something was wrong because he seemed weak or tired sometimes. We had no idea, and it was nobody's business. Good for him, keeping it to himself."

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The 94th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for March 27 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The show will air live on ABC. The Best Picture nominees are Belfast, Coda, Don't Look Up, Drive My Car, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog and West Side Story.