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Denzel Washington

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Man On Fire / Out Of Time... Experience two action-packed Denzel Washington flicks in this exciting 2-disc... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Out Of Time / The Mighty Quinn (Double... Get a Denzel Washington double-whammy with this exciting double feature. "Out Of... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Denzel Washington Collection... Includes Man on Fire, Courage Under Fire and The Siege. more info $29.99was $29.99 Buy Now

Courage Under Fire DVD Oscar winner Denzel Washington stars as a troubled Gulf War soldier tasked with... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

Legendary Gangsters: 5-Movie Collection... The mob gets a makeover in these five contemporary takes on organized crime. The... more info $56.98was $56.98 Buy Now

John Q DVD Academy Award winner Denzel Washington stars in this powerful drama about a... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. Died:
Born: December 28, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Mount Vernon, New York, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, drama instructor, sanitation worker, camp counselor, postal worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After winning Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars for his performance in the Civil War epic "Glory" (1989), Denzel Washington tackled one challenging role after another on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world. Likened to Sidney Poitier for his ability to appeal to multiracial audiences, Washington's grounding presence was a major draw in historical dramas like "Cry Freedom" (1987), "Malcolm X" (1992), "Hurricane" (1999) and "American Gangster" (2007). He also starred in more action-driven dramas such as "The Pelican Brief" (1993), "Courage Under Fire" (1996), "Remember the Titans" (2000) and "Training Day" (2001), the latter of which earned him the first Best Actor Oscar for an African-American since Poitier's feat in 1963. Rising above the black actor moniker, Washington not only held a firm position as one of Hollywood's top dramatic leads with acclaimed performances in films like "Philadelphia" (1993), but he also earned industry respect for his filmmaking efforts directing and producing both "Antwone Fisher" (2002) and "The Great Debaters" (2007). Throughout his career, Washington collaborated with a number of great directors, but had lasting relationships with the likes of...

After winning Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars for his performance in the Civil War epic "Glory" (1989), Denzel Washington tackled one challenging role after another on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world. Likened to Sidney Poitier for his ability to appeal to multiracial audiences, Washington's grounding presence was a major draw in historical dramas like "Cry Freedom" (1987), "Malcolm X" (1992), "Hurricane" (1999) and "American Gangster" (2007). He also starred in more action-driven dramas such as "The Pelican Brief" (1993), "Courage Under Fire" (1996), "Remember the Titans" (2000) and "Training Day" (2001), the latter of which earned him the first Best Actor Oscar for an African-American since Poitier's feat in 1963. Rising above the black actor moniker, Washington not only held a firm position as one of Hollywood's top dramatic leads with acclaimed performances in films like "Philadelphia" (1993), but he also earned industry respect for his filmmaking efforts directing and producing both "Antwone Fisher" (2002) and "The Great Debaters" (2007). Throughout his career, Washington collaborated with a number of great directors, but had lasting relationships with the likes of Spike Lee on "He Got Game" (1998) and "Inside Man" (2006), and Tony Scott who directed him in "Crimson Tide" (1995) and "Man on Fire" (2004). Though he stumbled occasionally with mediocre, but well-intentioned movies like "John Q" (2002), "Deja Vu" (2006) and "The Taking of Pelham 123" (2009), Washington remained one of American's most bankable and likeable leading men.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Antwone Fisher (2002) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Champs (2014)
2.
 Equalizer, The (2014)
3.
 Two Guns (2013)
4.
 Flight (2012)
5.
 Safe House (2012)
6.
 Book of Eli, The (2010)
7.
 Unstoppable (2010)
9.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
While a camp counselor in Lakeville, CT, took his first turn onstage during a talent show
:
Theatrical debut in Fordham University production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Emperor Jones"
1977:
TV-movie debut in "Wilma" (CBS), biography of Olympic runner Wilma Rudolph; future wife Pauletta Pearson also acted in telefilm
1979:
Acted in CBS miniseries "Flesh and Blood"
1979:
Appeared in New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF) production of "Coriolanus"
:
Worked in New York with New Federal Theater and Negro Ensemble Company
1981:
Feature film debut in "Carbon Copy"
1981:
First time playing Malcolm Shabazz (aka Malcolm X) in New Federal Theater stage production of "When the Chicken Comes Home to Roost"
1981:
Originated role of PFC Melvin Peterson in Charles Fuller's Pulitzer-winning "A Soldier's Play" at the Negro Ensemble Theater
1982:
TV series debut as regular playing Dr Phillip Chandler on the NBC medical drama "St. Elsewhere"
1984:
Earned critical praise for reprising Peterson in Norman Jewison's film "A Soldier's Story"; adapted from Fuller's play
1986:
Selected by director Sidney Lumet for the role of a public relations executive in "Power"; part was originally written for a white man
1987:
Portrayed martyred South African leader Steven Biko in Richard Attenborogh's "Cry Freedom"; earning first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe nomination
1987:
Made Broadway debut in disastrous run of Ron Milner's "Checkmates"
1988:
First time headlining a feature, the British film "For Queen and Country"
1989:
U.S. debut as feature lead, "The Mighty Quinn"
1989:
Earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work as the defiant slave-turned-soldier in "Glory"; first film with director Edward Zwick
:
Opened Georgia, a restaurant in Los Angeles
:
Founded Mundy Lane Entertainment, named for the street on which he grew up
1990:
Initial collaboration with director Spike Lee, "Mo' Better Blues" playing jazz musician Bleek Gilliam
1991:
Essayed title role in NYSF production of "Richard III"
1992:
Excelled as a carpet salesman in the small art film "Mississippi Masala"
1992:
Played the Black Nationalist leader in "Malcolm X"; second film with Lee; garnered Best Actor Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations
1993:
Portrayed ambulance-chasing lawyer who, inspite of his own homophobia, agrees to represent an AIDS-stricken lawyer (Tom Hanks) who claims discrimination in his dismissal from a law firm in Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia"
1993:
Acted opposite Julia Roberts in "The Pelican Brief"
1993:
Displayed his Shakespearean chops as Don Pedro in Kenneth Brannagh's film adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing"
1995:
Starred in Carl Franklin's film noir, "The Devil in a Blue Dress"; first feature produced under the auspices of his production company Mundy Lane
1995:
Executive produced the TV documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream" (TBS)
1995:
Headlined the adventure-thriller "Crimson Tide"; teamed him with Gene Hackman
1996:
Acted opposite Whitney Houston in Penny Marshall's "The Preacher's Wife"
1996:
Re-teamed with Zwick for "Courage Under Fire"
1997:
Made directing debut with "In Harm's Way," a music video for the Winans
1998:
Re-teamed with Lee for "He Got Game"
1998:
Third film with Edward Zwick, "The Siege"
1999:
Delivered a convincing turn as a paralyzed NYC criminologist who helps solve the identity of a serial killer in "The Bone Collector"
1999:
Played former middleweight boxer Ruben 'Hurricane' Carter in Norman Jewison's "Hurricane"; received Best Actor Academy Award and SAG nominations
2000:
Starred in Boaz Yakin's "Remember the Titans"; film was based on the true story of a newly-integrated high school football team in the South going on to a state championship
2000:
Was one of the producers of the documentary "Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks"
2001:
Undertook villainous role as a cop on the take paired with a rookie (Ethan Hawke) in "Training Day"; received Best Actor Golden Globe and SAG nominations
2002:
Starred in "John Q" as a man who confronts an HMO that withholds treatment from his ill child
2002:
Feature directorial debut, "The Antwone Fisher Story"; also co-starred
2003:
Portrayed Chief Detective Matt Whitlock in the thriller "Out of Time"
2004:
Starred opposite Dakota Fanning in Tony Scott's "Man on Fire"
2004:
Cast in the role of Bennet Marco, originally played by Frank Sinatra, in remake of "The Manchurian Candidate"
2005:
Starred as Brutus in the Broadway production of "Julius Caesar"
2006:
Re-teamed with director Spike Lee for the fourth time to star in the hostage drama "Inside Man"
2006:
Re-teamed with director Tony Scott for the thriller, "Deja Vu"
2007:
Cast as Frank Lucas, a real-life 70's heroin kingpin in the Ridley Scott directed "American Gangster"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
2007:
Directed (also acted) "The Great Debaters"; a true story based on the Wiley College debate team in the 1930s
2009:
Once again teamed with Tony Scott for the remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123"
2010:
Played the lead role in "The Book of Eli," a post-apocalyptic drama directed by the Hughes brothers
2010:
Starred in the Broadway revival of August Wilson┬┐s "Fences"
2010:
Re-teamed with Tony Scott for "Unstoppable"
2012:
Played a fugitive on the run with a CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) in "Safe House"
2012:
Starred in Robert Zemeckis directed drama "Flight"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Conservatory Theatre: San Francisco , California -
Oakwood Academy: New Windsor , New York -
Fordham University: Bronx , New York - 1977

Notes

"[Washington] auditioned late, but as soon as I saw him I knew he was Peterson. What was striking about Denzel right from the first was his presence, his ability to create a positive persona but also its opposite--that hint of mystery and threat. It's an interesting combination that gives him a wonderful range of possibilities." --Douglas Turner Ward, founder and artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company and director of "A Soldier's Play", recalling Washington in The Boston Globe, August 5, 1990.

"Denzel Washington, who has become the reigning black-male sex symbol of his generation ... is fashion-model handsome, with a body that's a lean, athletic dream. ... His appeal, though, is rooted in the beckoning gentleness of his stare. When he smiles, exposing a slight overbite, he radiates seductive ardor rather than narcissism." --Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly, February 14, 1992.

Washington received a honorary degree from Fordham University (1991).

He also received the Spencer Tracy Award from UCLA for his body of work in 1993.

About working with him in "The Pelican Brief": "It was like working with the Beatles. I'd come out of the trailer, and there'd be four guys going, you know, 'Hey, Julia, babe' ... Denzel comes out ... and (there were) 200 women screaming.

"Referring to Denzel Washington as simply sexy is like saying Ernest Hemingway was a good fisherman." --Julia Roberts quoted in People, July 29, 1996.

According to a 1998 Harris Poll, Washington was the 10th most popular movie star, male or female. No other black actor made the top 40.

"It's no coincidence that as the Oscars come around, there's a lot more British actresses being nominated than American. And I think it's because they get better training. When we did 'Much Ado About Nothing' it was almost embarrassing to hear everybody talking about what they were going to do next. All the British actors were talking about the theatre work they were off to do, while the Americans were doing movies next. That was the trouble at that time, the Brits were prepared but had no place to showcase. We've got the showcase, but we're not as prepared." --Denzel Washington, quoted in Neon, May 1998.

When in South Africa, Washington spontaneously gave $1 million to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

As a spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Washington can often be found in inner-city neighborhoods hanging out with kids. "It makes me sad. A lot of young kids think they have to be hard. You look a little deeper and you see that they're really just looking for love. They're looking for respect. But they think they have to be hard to be accepted. I know better. I grew up with murder and mayhem, too, but I turned it into a positive." --Washington to Cindy Pearlman in The Chicago Sun-Times, January 21, 1998.

About the importance of family in his life: "Acting is not life; those children are life ... I don't want to be that person who says, 'Oh, God, I wasn't there. I was more thinking about me than them. My career has been enhanced by family, stability, having birthday parties. If I didn't have a family, what would I be doing this weekend?" --Washington quoted in USA Weekend, January 9-11, 1998.

About making his directorial debut: "It was the fear of the unknown. But now I'm hooked. I just won the Academy Award, but I can tell you, this was more exciting than that."-- Washington Premiere September 2002

"People ask me a lot about this Oscar and what it means and I'm like, I won one 13 years ago and to me there is no difference in supporting and best actor. It's like writers. If they gave out an Oscar for writing an article should a 1000 word article be a supporting writer and a 2000 word article a leading article, what's the difference? That doesn't mean that the leading writer is a better writer. So I really feel that way and it was not more of a thrill the first time. All of those things, the responsibility or fears and all that, I think were more acute 13 years ago for me than now."---Washington to www.darkhorizons.com October 1, 2003

"I love Denzel's obsessive quality and his internal darkness. There's a hardness to Denzel that's really interesting. He knows how to draw it out and use it effectively."---director Tony Scott to Toronto Sun, April 18, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Pauletta Pearson. Actor, singer, pianist. Born c. 1951; met when both were filming "Wilma" (NBC, 1977); married in 1983; in 1995 renewed vows in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Denzel Washington. Pentecostal preacher (Church of God in Christ). Divorced Washington's mother when he was 14; originally from Dillwyn, Virginia; died in 1991 at age 81.
mother:
Lennis Washington. Beautician. Divorced Washington's father when he was 14; born in Georgia and raised in Harlem.
sister:
Lorice Washington. Older.
son:
John David Washington. Born c. 1984; played a student in Harlem classroom in "Malcolm X" (1992).
daughter:
Katia Washington. Born c. 1987.
son:
Malcolm Washington. Born on April 10, 1991; twin of Olivia; named after Malcolm X.
daughter:
Olivia Washington. Born on April 10, 1991; twin of Malcolm.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Denzel Washington" Birch Lane Press

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