Denzel Washington Superstar –

Denzel Washington in ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.
_poster_glory Glory (Biographical/Historical Drama – Rated R)

Denzel Washington won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1989 film Glory, in which he played Private Silas Tripp, a member of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — one of the first all-black Army regiments in the Civil War.

_poster_training_day Training Day (Crime Drama Thriller – Rated R)

Denzel Washington won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the 2002 film Training Day, in which he plays a highly decorated but corrupt LAPD narcotics detective, Alonzo Harris, who's assigned the task of evaluating a rookie detective on a very eventful day in South Central Los Angeles.

About Denzel Washington (1954 – ____)

Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. was born in Mount Vernon, New York. His father, Denzel Hayes Washington, Sr. (1909–1991), a native of Buckingham County, Virginia, was an ordained Pentecostal minister, and also worked for the New York City Water Department and at a local department store. His mother, Lennis "Lynne" (née Lowe; born 1924), was a beauty parlor owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem.

Washington attended Pennington-Grimes Elementary School in Mount Vernon until 1968. When he was 14, his parents divorced, and his mother sent him to a private preparatory school, Oakland Military Academy in New Windsor, New York. "That decision changed my life," Washington later said, "because I wouldn't have survived in the direction I was going. The guys I was hanging out with at the time, my running buddies, have now done maybe 40 years combined in the penitentiary. They were nice guys, but the streets got them."

After Oakland, Washington next attended Mainland High School, a public high school in Daytona Beach, Florida, from 1970 to 1971. He was interested in attending Texas Tech University: "I grew up in the Boys Club in Mount Vernon, and we were the Red Raiders. So when I was in high school, I wanted to go to Texas Tech in Lubbock just because they were called the Red Raiders and their uniforms looked like ours."

Washington earned a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977. At Fordham, he played collegiate basketball as a guard under coach P.J. Carlesimo. After an interval of indecision on which major to study and taking a semester off, Washington worked as creative arts director at an overnight summer camp, Camp Sloane YMCA in Lakeville, Connecticut. He participated in a staff talent show for the campers and a colleague suggested he try acting.

Returning to Fordham that fall with a renewed purpose, Washington enrolled at the Lincoln Center campus to study acting, and there he was given the title roles in Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones and Shakespeare's Othello. He then attended graduate school at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where he stayed for one year before returning to New York to begin a professional acting career.

Washington spent the summer of 1976 in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in summer stock theater performing Wings of the Morning, the Maryland State play, which was written for him by incorporating an African-American character/narrator based loosely on the historical figure from early colonial Maryland, Mathias Da Sousa. Shortly after graduating from Fordham, he made his screen acting debut in the 1977 made-for-TV film Wilma, and his first Hollywood appearance in the 1981 film Carbon Copy. He shared a 1982 Distinguished Ensemble Performance Obie Award for playing Private First Class Melvin Peterson in the Off-Broadway Negro Ensemble Company production A Soldier's Play which premiered November 20, 1981.

A major career break came when Washington starred as Dr. Phillip Chandler in NBC's television hospital drama St. Elsewhere, which ran from 1982 to 1988. He also appeared in several TV, motion picture and stage roles, such as the films A Soldier's Story, Hard Lessons, and Power. In 1987, he starred as South African anti-apartheid political activist Steven Biko in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination.

In 1989, Washington won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the defiant, self-possessed ex-slave soldier in the film Glory. That same year, he appeared in the film The Mighty Quinn; and in For Queen and Country, where he played the conflicted and disillusioned Reuben James, a British soldier who, despite a distinguished military career, returns to a civilian life where racism and inner city life lead to vigilantism and violence.

In 1990, Washington starred as Bleek Gilliam in the Spike Lee film Mo' Better Blues. The following year he starred as Demetrius Williams in the romantic drama Mississippi Masala. Washington was reunited with Lee to play one of his most critically acclaimed roles, the title character of 1992's Malcolm X. His performance as the black nationalist leader earned him another Best Actor Oscar nomination. The next year, he portrayed the lawyer of a gay man with AIDS in the 1993 film Philadelphia. Throughout the early and mid-1990s, Washington also starred in several successful thrillers, including The Pelican Brief and Crimson Tide, as well as in the movie of the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing. In 1996, he played a U.S. Army officer who, despondent about a deadly mistake he made, investigates a female chopper commander's worthiness for the Medal of Honor in Courage Under Fire with Meg Ryan . In 1996, he appeared with Whitney Houston in the romantic comedy The Preacher's Wife.

In 1998, Washington starred in Spike Lee's film He Got Game, where he played a father serving a six-year prison term when the prison warden offers him a temporary parole to convince his top-ranked high-school basketball player son (Ray Allen) to sign with the governor's alma mater, Big State. The film was Washington's third collaboration with Lee.

In 1999, Washington starred in The Hurricane, a film about boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, whose conviction for triple murder was overturned after he spent almost 20 years in prison.

In 2000, Washington appeared in the Disney film Remember the Titans which grossed over $100 million in the U.S. That year, Washington also won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Movie for his work in The Hurricane. He was the first black actor to win the award since Sidney Poitier in 1963.

Washington won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2001 cop thriller Training Day, where he played Detective Alonzo Harris, a corrupt L.A. cop with horrific law-enforcement tactics. He was the second black performer to win the category after Sidney Poitier, who was presented with an Honorary Academy Award the same night.

After appearing in 2002's box office success, the healthcare-themed John Q., Washington directed his first film, a well-reviewed drama called Antwone Fisher, in which he also co-starred.

Between 2003 and 2004, Washington appeared in a series of thrillers that performed generally well at the box office, including Out of Time, Man on Fire, and The Manchurian Candidate. In 2006, he starred in Inside Man, a Spike Lee-directed bank heist thriller co-starring Jodie Foster and Clive Owen, released in March, and Déjà Vu.

In 2007, Washington co-starred with Russell Crowe, for the second time after 1995's Virtuosity, in Ridley Scott's American Gangster. He also directed and starred in the drama The Great Debaters with Forest Whitaker. He next appeared in Tony Scott's 2009 film The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (a remake of the 1974 thriller of the same name), where he played New York City subway security chief Walter Garber opposite John Travolta's villain.

In 2010, Washington starred in The Book of Eli, a post-Apocalyptic drama set in the near future. Also in 2010, he starred as a veteran railroad engineer in the action film Unstoppable, about an unmanned, half-mile-long runaway freight train carrying dangerous cargo. The film was his fifth and final collaboration with director Tony Scott, following Crimson Tide (1995), Man on Fire (2004), Déjà Vu (2006) and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (2009).

In 2012, Washington starred in Flight, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He co-starred with Ryan Reynolds in Safe House, where he prepared for his role by subjecting himself to a torture session that included waterboarding. In 2013, Washington starred in 2 Guns, alongside Mark Wahlberg. In 2014, he starred in The Equalizer, an action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, based on the TV series of the same name starring Edward Woodward.

In 2016, Washington starred as one of the leads in the remake of the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven, alongside Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, and Peter Sarsgaard.

In 2016, Washington directed the film Fences, co-starring Viola Davis and based on Wilson's play of the same name. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, Washington plays a former Negro league baseball player working as a waste collector who struggles to provide for his family and come to terms with the events of his life. For his performance, Washington was nominated in the Best Actor category for a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. In 2017, Washington starred in the legal drama Roman J. Israel, Esq.. His performance was praised by critics and led to nominations for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award, Washington's ninth Oscar nomination overall, and his sixth for Best Actor.


On June 25, 1983, Washington married Pauletta Pearson, whom he met on the set of his first screen work, the television film Wilma. The couple have four children: John David (b. July 28, 1984), a former football player with the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions; Katia (b. November 27, 1986) who graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2010; and twins Olivia and Malcolm (b. April 10, 1991). Malcolm graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in film studies, and Olivia played a role in Lee Daniels's film The Butler. In 1995, Denzel and Pauletta renewed their wedding vows in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.

Washington is a devout Christian, and has considered becoming a preacher. He stated in 1999, "A part of me still says, 'Maybe, Denzel, you're supposed to preach. Maybe you're still compromising.' I've had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach. I take what talent I've been given seriously, and I want to use it for good." In 1995, he donated US$2.5 million to help build the new West Angeles Church of God in Christ facility in Los Angeles. Washington says he reads the Bible daily.

Washington has served as the national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1993 and has appeared in public service announcements and awareness campaigns for the organization. In addition, he has served as a board member for Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1995. Due to his philanthropic work with the Boys & Girls Club, PS 17X, a New York City Elementary School decided to officially name their school after Washington.

In mid-2004, Washington visited Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, where he participated in a Purple Heart ceremony, presenting medals to three Army soldiers recovering from wounds they received while stationed in Iraq. He also visited the fort's Fisher House facilities, and after learning that it had exceeded its capacity, made a substantial donation to the Fisher House Foundation. Washington's other charitable contributions include US$1 million to Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund in 1995 and US$1 million to Wiley College to resuscitate the college's debate team.

Washington is an Independent voter. He supported Barack Obama in 2008.

Washington has been a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Lakers since childhood.

On May 18, 1991, Washington was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Fordham University, for having "impressively succeeded in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent". In 2011, he donated $2 million to Fordham for an endowed chair of the theater department, as well as US$250,000 to establish a theater-specific scholarship at the school. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Morehouse College on May 20, 2007. and an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania on May 16, 2011.

In 2008, Washington visited Israel with a delegation of African-American artists in honor of the state's 60th birthday. In 2010, he visited Israel again to meet with his friend, head of the Messianic Jews' congregation in Haifa

In April 2014, Washington presented at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition with Bryan Cranston, Idina Menzel and Fran Drescher, after raising donations at his Broadway show A Raisin in the Sun.

Denzel Washington's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1981Carbon CopyRoger Porter
1984A Soldier's StoryPrivate First Class Melvin Peterson
1986PowerArnold Billings
1987Cry FreedomSteve Biko
1988For Queen and CountryReuben James
1989The Mighty QuinnXavier Quinn
1990Heart ConditionNapoleon Stone
1990Mo' Better BluesBleek Gilliam
1991Mississippi MasalaDemetrius Williams
1991RicochetNick Styles
1992Malcolm XMalcolm X
1993Much Ado About NothingDon Pedro of Aragon
1993The Pelican BriefGray Grantham
1993PhiladelphiaJoe Miller
1995Crimson TideLt. Commander Ron Hunter
1995VirtuosityLt. Parker Barnes
1995Devil in a Blue DressEasy Rawlins
1996Courage Under FireLt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling
1996The Preacher's WifeDudley
1998FallenDetective John Hobbes
1998He Got GameJake Shuttlesworth
1998The SiegeAnthony Hubbard
1999The Bone CollectorLincoln Rhyme
1999The HurricaneRubin Carter
2000Remember the TitansHerman Boone
2001Training DayDetective Alonzo Harris
2002John Q.John Q. Archibald
2002Antwone FisherDr. Jerome Davenport
2003Out of TimeMatt Lee Whitlock
2004Man on FireJohn W. Creasy
2004The Manchurian CandidateMaj. Ben Marco
2006Inside ManKeith Frazier
2006Déjà VuDoug Carlin
2007American GangsterFrank Lucas
2007The Great DebatersMelvin B. Tolson
2009The Taking of Pelham 123Walter Garber
2010The Book of EliEli
2010UnstoppableFrank Barnes
2012Safe HouseTobin Frost
2012FlightWilliam "Whip" Whitaker Sr.
20132 GunsRobert "Bobby" Trench
2014The EqualizerRobert McCall
2016The Magnificent SevenSam Chisolm
2016FencesTroy Maxson
2017Roman J. Israel, Esq.Roman J. Israel
2018 The Equalizer 2Robert McCall

Denzel Washington's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1977The Wilma Rudolph StoryRobert Eldridge – age 18
1979Flesh & BloodKirk
1982–1988St. ElsewhereDr. Philip Chandler
1984License to KillMartin Sawyer
1986The George McKenna StoryGeorge McKenna
1992Great PerformancesNarrator
1992Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War IINarrator
1995Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildKing Omar
1997Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildHumpty Dumpty
Crooked Man
2013The MarchNarrator
2016Grey's Anatomy

Academy Nominations/Awards won by Denzel Washington include...

Year Movie Award
1988Cry FreedomBest Supporting Actor (Nominated)
1990GloryBest Supporting Actor
1993Malcolm XBest Actor (Nominated)
2000The HurricaneBest Actor (Nominated)
2002Training DayBest Actor
2013FlightBest Actor (Nominated)
2017FencesBest Actor (Nominated)
2018Roman J. Israel, Esq.Best Actor (Nominated)

Memorable Quotes by Denzel Washington

“ I'm very proud to be black, but black is not all I am. That's my cultural historical background, my genetic makeup, but it's not all of who I am nor is it the basis from which I answer every question. ”

[on where he likes to keep his Oscars] “ Next to each other. ”

[on approaching 50] “ I have a friend who says "The first 50 was for them, this 50's for me." I like that. The weirdest part of it, or even the saddest part, is that you start to see people die. You go "Man! He wasn't even that old." I lost a friend recently who died of a heart attack. He was 58. When I was 20, 58 was old. It ain't now.”

[on shooting action scenes] “ I have to try and find a way to remain positive because those days are boring to me, really, just hanging off the side of a building, fighting or grunting. ”

“ Acting is just a way of making a living, the family is life. ”

[on making movies] “ It's simple: You get a part. You play a part. You play it well. You do your work and you go home. And what is wonderful about movies is that once they're done, they belong to the people. Once you make it, it's what they see. That's where my head is at. ”

Things You May Not Know About Denzel Washington

Tom Hanks said working with Washington on Philadelphia was like "going to film school". Hanks said he learned more about acting by watching Denzel than from anyone else.

He was at his mother's beauty parlor, when a woman getting her hair done saw him and told someone to get her a piece of paper and she wrote at the top "Prophecy" and then wrote that Denzel would grow up and one day speak to millions. Denzel kept the bit of paper in his wallet. The woman was known as a prophetess in their church and community.

He cites star-athletes like Jim Brown and Gale Sayers as the role models of his youth.

He is the first African-American actor to receive two Academy Awards.

Though his first theatrical film was a comedy (Carbon Copy, in 1981), he has only done three more since. Has mentioned that he's always wanted to do a great one.

He and his family visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Center, in San Antonio, Texas (BAMC). There are some buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a Hotel where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the Hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled most of the time. He was given a tour of one of the Fisher Houses and subsequent to his visit sent them one of the largest donations they've ever received.

Denzel Washington in American Gangster (2007)... top picture with Josh Brolin ... middle picture with David Lee and Frank Lucas... bottom picture with Russell Crowe.
In Antwone Fisher (2002)... bottom picture with Derek Luke.
In Courage Under Fire (1996).
With Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide (1995).
In Deja Vu (2006)... bottom picture with Val Kilmer.
In Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)... top picture with Albert Hall... second picture
with Don Cheadle and Joseph Latimore... with Jennifer Beals in third picture.
In Fallen (1998)... top picture with John Goodman... second picture with Embeth Davidtz.
In Fences (2016)... third and fourth pictures with Viola Davis... fifth picture with Jovan Adepo.
In Flight (2012)... top picture with Kelly Reilly... second picture
with Timothy Scott... with John Goodman in third and fifth pictures.
In Glory (1989)... bottom picture with Andre Braugher.
In He Got Game (1998)... bottom picture with Milla Jovovich.
In Inside Man (2006)... with Chiwetel Ejiofor in top picture...
with Jodie Foster in middle picture... with Clive Owen in bottom picture.
In John Q (2002)... bottom picture with Kimberly Elise and Daniel E. Smith.
In Malcolm X (1992)... top picture with Spike Lee... bottom picture with Delroy Lindo.
In Man on Fire (2004)... with Christopher Walken in top picture... with
Dakota Fanning in second picture... with Norma Martinez in third picture.
In Mo' Better Blues (1990)... top picture with Spike Lee,
Herbert Daughtry and Joie Lee... bottom picture with Joie Lee.
In Out of Time (2003)... top and bottom pictures
with Sanaa Lathan... middle picture with Eva Mendes.
In Philadelphia (1993)... bottom picture with Tom Hanks.
In Remember the Titans (2000)... top picture with Will Patton.
In Ricochet (1991)... top picture with Kevin Pollak.
As Roman J. Israel Esq. in Roman J. Israel Esq. (2017)... second
and fourth pictures with Colin Farrell... bottom picture with Dan Gilroy.
In The Bone Collector (1999)... top picture
with Queen Latifah... bottom picture with Angelina Jolie.
In The Book of Eli (2010)... with Evan Jones in second
picture... with Mila Kunis in third and fifth pictures...
In The Equalizer (2014).
In The Great Debaters (2007).
In The Hurricane (1999).
In The Magnificent Seven (2016)... with Chris Pratt in
top picture... with Gianni Biasetti Jr. in third picture.
In The Manchurian Candidate (2004)... top picture with Bruno Ganz...
middle picture with Jeffrey Wright... bottom picture with Meryl Streep.
With Whitney Houston in The Preacher's Wife (1996).
With Annette Bening in The Siege (1998)... bottom picture with Tony Shalhoub.
In The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)... top picture with James
... with John Turturro and Chip Brookes in middle picture.
In Training Day (2001)... top two pictures with Ethan Hawke...
bottom picture with Brett Sorenson.
Denzel Washington in Unstoppable (2010)... top picture with Chris Pine .