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 Total: 4.0 out of 5 stars 
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Denzel Washington


Date of Birth: Tuesday, December 28, 1954
AGE: 63
Occupation: Actor





Biography: An American actor, screenwriter, director and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama St. Elsewhere, playing Dr. Philip Chandler for six years. He has received much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including for his portrayals of real-life figures, such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone.

Washington has received two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe awards, and a Tony Award. He is notable for winning the Best Supporting Actor for Glory in 1989; and the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2001 for his role in the film Training Day.

Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, near New York City. His mother, Lennis "Lynne", was a beauty parlour-owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem. His father, Reverend Denzel H. Washington, Sr., a native of Buckingham County, Virginia, served as an ordained Pentecostal minister, and also worked for the Water Department and a local department store, S. Klein.

Washington attended grammar school at Pennington-Grimes Elementary School in Mount Vernon until 1968. When he was 14, his parents? marriage fell apart and his mother sent him to a private preparatory school, Oakland Military Academy, in New Windsor, New York State. "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?71. Washington 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 freshman guard under coach P. J. Carlesimo. After a period of indecision on which major to study and dropping out of school for a semester, Washington worked as a counselor 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 and focus, he enrolled at the Lincoln Center campus to study acting and was given the title roles in both Eugene O?Neill?s The Emperor Jones and Shakespeare?s Othello. Upon graduation he was given a scholarship to attend graduate school at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, where he stayed for one year before returning to New York to begin a professional acting career.

Washington at the 62nd Academy Awards, at which he won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. 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. Shortly after graduating from Fordham, Washington made his professional acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television film Wilma with his first Hollywood appearance in the 1981 film Carbon Copy. Washington 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 he starred as Dr. Phillip Chandler in the television hospital drama St. Elsewhere which ran from 1982 to 1988 on NBC. He was one of only a few African American actors to appear on the series for its entire six-year run. Washington also appeared in several television, film and stage roles such as the films A Soldier?s Story (1984), Hard Lessons (1986) and Power (1986).

In 2000, Washington appeared in the Disney film Remember the Titans which grossed over $100 million at the United States box office.

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. In 1995, the couple renewed their wedding vows in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.

Washington is a devout Christian, and has considered becoming a preacher. "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 2.5 million dollars to help build the new West Angeles Church of God in Christ facility in Los Angeles




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