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Denzel Jermaine Washington, Jr. (born December 28,
1954 in Mount Vernon, New York) is a two-time Academy Award-winning
American film actor and occasional director and stage actor.
Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York to African-American
parents; he has an older sister, Lorice, and a younger brother.
Although his father, Dillwyn, Virginia-born Reverend Denzel Washington,
was an ordained Pentecostal minister, he worked for the Water Department
and at a local department store, "S. Klein". His mother,
Lennis, a beauty parlor owner, was born in Georgia and raised in
Harlem. Washington was banned from watching movies by his parents,
who divorced when he was fourteen. He subsequently went through
a rebellious stage, at the end of which several of his friends were
sentenced to prison. His mother's reaction to his behavioral problems
was to send him to preparatory school, and later on he was sent
to Fordham University, where he discovered acting and earned a degree
Washington's first film role was in the 1975 made-for-television
movie, Wilma. His big break came when he starred in the popular
television hospital drama, St. Elsewhere. He was one of a few actors
to appear on the series for its entire six-year run. In 1987, after
appearing in several minor theatrical films and stage roles, Washington
starred as South African anti-apartheid campaigner Steve Biko in
Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom, a role for which he received
an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 1989, Washington
won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing a defiant, self-possessed
ex-slave in the film Glory. Also that same year, he gave a powerful
performance as Reuben James, a Caribbean-born black man who turned
from British Army paratrooper to vigilante to situate the neighborhoods
in England in For Queen and Country.
Washington played one of his most critically acclaimed roles in
1992's Malcolm X, directed by Spike Lee. His performance as the
Black Nationalist leader earned him an Oscar nomination. Both the
influential film critic Roger Ebert and the highly acclaimed film
director Martin Scorsese called the movie one of the ten best films
made during the 1990s.
Malcolm X transformed Washington's career, turning
him, practically overnight, into one of Hollywood's most respected
actors. He turned down several similar roles, such as an offer to
play Martin Luther King, Jr., because he wanted to avoid being typecast.
The next year, in 1993, he took another risk in his career by playing
Joe Miller, the homophobic lawyer of a man with AIDS in the movie
Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks, although it was a big risk for
Hanks to play the lawyer with AIDS, critics agreed it was also a
risk for Washington to play the homophobic Miller. During the early
and mid 1990s, Washington became a renowned Hollywood leading man,
starring in several successful thrillers, including The Pelican
Brief and Crimson Tide, as well comedies (Much Ado About Nothing)
and romantic dramas (The Preacher's Wife).
While filming the 1995 film, Virtuosity, Washington refused to
kiss his white female co-star, Kelly Lynch, during a romantic scene
between their characters. During an interview, Lynch stated that
while she wanted to, "[Denzel] felt very strongly about it.
I felt there is no problem with interracial romance. But Denzel
felt strongly that the white males, who were the target audience
of this movie, would not want to see him kiss a white woman."
Lynch further stated, "That's a shame. I feel badly about it.
I keep thinking that the world's changed, but it hasn't changed
quick enough". A similar situation also occurred during the
filming of The Pelican Brief when Julia Roberts expressed in an
interview her desire to have her character in the film engaged in
a romantic relationship with Washington's character. However, in
1998, Washington starred in a scene of a sexual nature with actress
Milla Jovovich, in Spike Lee's He Got Game.
In 1999, Washington starred in The Hurricane, a movie about boxer
Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, whose conviction for triple murder was
overturned after he had spent almost 20 years in prison. Various
newspaper articles have suggested that the controversy over the
films accuracy may have cost Washington an Oscar for which
he was nominated. Washington did receive a Golden Globe Award in
2000 and a 'Silberner Bär' (Silver Berlin Bear) at the Berlin
International Film Festival for the role.
In 2000, Washington appeared in the crowd-pleasing Disney film,
Remember the Titans, which grossed over $100 million at the United
States box office. He was nominated and won an Oscar for his next
film, the 2001 cop thriller, Training Day, which was considered
a change of pace for Washington, as he played a villainous character
after many roles as a heroic lead. After appearing in 2002's box
office success, the Health care-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. His film, Inside
Man, a Spike Lee-directed bank heist thriller co-starring Jodie
Foster and Clive Owen, opened on March 24, 2006. He is currently
in New Orleans for the filming of the upcoming film Deja Vu.
His name has most recently become attached to the role of Harvey
Dent in the sequel to 2005's summer blockbuster Batman Begins, entitled
The Dark Knight.
In 1983, Washington married actress Pauletta Pearson (now Pauletta
Washington), whom he met on the set of his first screen role, Wilma.
The couple has four children: John David (b. 1983), who signed a
football contract with the St. Louis Rams in May 2006 after playing
college ball at Morehouse; Katia (b. 1987), who is attending Yale
University, Olivia (b. 1991) and Malcolm (b. 1991) (named after
Malcolm X). In 1995, the couple renewed their wedding vows in South
Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.
||The Great Debaters
||The Manchurian Candidate
||Man on Fire
||Out of Time
||Matthias Lee Whitlock
||Dr. Jerome Davenport
||John Quincy Archibald
||Detective Alonzo Harris
||Remember the Titans
||Coach Herman Boone
||Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
||The Bone Collector
||Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard
||He Got Game
||Det. John Hobbes
||The Preacher's Wife
||Courage Under Fire
||Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling
||Devil in a Blue Dress
||Lt. Parker Barnes
||Lt. Commander Ron Hunter
||The Pelican Brief
||Much Ado About Nothing
||Don Pedro of Aragon
||Mo' Better Blues
||For Queen and Country
||The Mighty Quinn
||A Soldier's Story
In The News:
| Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:09:26 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:38:56 GMT
Mon, 01 Apr 2013 17:05:43 GMT
Trailer Park: Denzel and Mark Wahlberg in '2 Guns'CNN (blog)Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are bringing major firepower with a side of comedy in their upcoming action film, "2 Guns." Directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2012's "Contraband"), the movie features Washington as an undercover DEA agent who works ...and more » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:40:46 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:25:32 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:16:20 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:08:57 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 14:32:36 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 13:22:34 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 13:10:56 GMT
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