Denzel Washington is a popular American actor revered for his powerful performances on film. His consistent box office success was instrumental in breaking the perception of how African-American actors aren’t able to entice mainstream white audiences. Not only that but he was also praised and celebrated by both regular watchers and his critics throughout his career, earning him continuous success at the box office.
But beyond his established fame in acting, many people are also curious about what other talents this man has up his sleeve and what he has going on in his personal life.
Who is Denzel Washington?
Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on December 28, 1954. He is the middle child among three kids, his father being a Pentecostal minister and his mother being a beautician. Currently, he is happily married to Pauletta Washington and resides in Los Angeles, California, with his four kids and wife.
Denzel enrolled at Fordham University as soon as he graduated high school, focused on pursuing a journalism career. However, he somehow caught his love for acting along the way as he starred in various student drama productions throughout his academic life.
As Denzel’s son, John David Washington, is well-known for his career in professional football, many fans have also begun to wonder: did Denzel Washington ever play football during his college years as well? The truth is that Denzel played basketball during his time at Fordham University, taking on the role of a guard under the training of P.J. Carlesimo, who eventually furthered into the NBA.
Upon graduating, Denzel moved to San Fransisco to pursue the acting route, enrolling at the American Conservatory Theater. However, he left the theater after only a year since he immediately went on to find work as a full-time actor. Fortunately, he landed his first ever paid acting role in a summer stock theater in a play titled `Wings of the Morning,’ which was held in St. Mary’s City, Maryland.
The whole play was about the founding of Maryland and its early days as a colonial assembly. Denzel played the role of a historical character called Mathias Da Sousa, which kickstarted his acting career. He went out of the play eagerly pursuing more earnest roles – and with his commanding presence and great acting versatility, it wasn’t that hard for him to find decent work in several television productions.
After graduating and pursuing minor acting roles, Denzel eventually debuted on the big screen in the 1981 film called `Carbon Copy’ alongside Geroge Segal. He worked both in television and the movies throughout the 1980s and was even handpicked for Dr. Philip Chandler’s role in 1982’s hit medical series St. Elsewhere.
This was a role that Denzel went to play for six years, gradually making his mark in the acting industry. His career film eventually started to take precedence and reap much-deserved awards when he coveted the prestigious Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing the role of Tripp, a runaway slave, in the potent historical masterpiece released in 1989 called Glory.
It’s no hidden fact that Denzel Washington is an extremely successful actor in his field, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why. Since the 1990s, he has been bold and forward in pursuing acting projects, challenging himself by taking up tough roles.
He also garnered an outpour of critical acclaim for his work film, especially through his portrayals of historical and non-fiction characters such as boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, and human rights activist and Muslim minister Malcolm X. These films, among many others, have earned him back-to-back recognitions and awards, earning him his first ever statuette in 2002 for his prime role in the 2001 film Training Day.
His career does not stop there since he also continues to star in big-budget productions as well. These include famous films like Crimson Tide, Philadelphia, and The Pelican Brief. His role in the 1996 film Courage Under Fire had earned him $10 million alone, making him an in-demand figure in the acting industry by then. He spent the rest of his years defining his onscreen facade as a no-nonsense and tough hero through classic 2000s films such as Inside Man, Out of Time, and Man of Fire.
He also branched out and debuted as a director in 2002 with Antwone Fisher, having directed The Great Debaters in 2007 and Fences in 2016. In the same year, he was also chosen to be a Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the Golden Globe Awards’ 73rd anniversary.