American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. American Ganster Movie, 2007

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Denzel Washington

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Denzel Washington - American Gangster - The New Ridley Scott Film Starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington

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.


Early life
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 in journalism.

Early career
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.

Career: 1990s
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.

Denzel Washington - American Gangster - The New Ridley Scott Film Starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington

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 film’s 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.

Career: 2000s

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.

Personal life
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.

Denzel Washington - American Gangster - The New Ridley Scott Film Starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington

Selected filmography

Year Title Role
2008 The Great Debaters
2007 American Gangster Frank Lucas
2006 Deja Vu Doug Carlin
2006 Inside Man Keith Frazier
2004 The Manchurian Candidate Ben Marco
2004 Man on Fire John Creasy
2003 Out of Time Matthias Lee Whitlock
2002 Antwone Fisher Dr. Jerome Davenport
2002 John Q John Quincy Archibald
2001 Training Day Detective Alonzo Harris
2000 Remember the Titans Coach Herman Boone
1999 The Hurricane Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
1999 The Bone Collector Lincoln Rhyme
1998 The Siege Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard
1998 He Got Game Jake Shuttlesworth
1998 Fallen Det. John Hobbes
1996 The Preacher's Wife Dudley
1996 Courage Under Fire Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling
1995 Devil in a Blue Dress Easy Rawlins
1995 Virtuosity Lt. Parker Barnes
1995 Crimson Tide Lt. Commander Ron Hunter
1993 Philadelphia Joe Miller
1993 The Pelican Brief Gray Grantham
1993 Much Ado About Nothing Don Pedro of Aragon
1992 Malcolm X Malcolm X
1992 Mississippi Masala Demetrius Williams
1991 Ricochet Nick Styles
1990 Mo' Better Blues Bleek Gilliam
1990 Heart Condition Napoleon Stone
1989 Glory Pvt. Trip
1989 For Queen and Country Reuben James
1989 The Mighty Quinn Xavier Quinn
1987 Cry Freedom Steve Biko
1984 A Soldier's Story Pfc. Peterson
1981 Carbon Copy Roger Porter

In The News:

Mark Wahlberg & Denzel Washington's ?2 Guns? Trailer: Watch Here!
The Gossip Girls
They're both major stars in their own right, and Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington are teaming up for some serious action in ?2 Guns.? A new teaser trailer for the upcoming thriller has just been released ahead of the flick's August 2nd, 2013 release date.

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:09:26 GMT

TechnologyTell (blog)

'2 Guns' Trailer Starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg Looks 'Lethal ...
TechnologyTell (blog)
Both Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg (okay, mostly Denzel) have the talent to blow our socks off with dramatic roles that can put them on the Academy's radar. But they also have bills to pay, like any regular Joe, so they can't always work with Martin ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:38:56 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 17:05:43 GMT

'2 Guns' Trailer: Marky Mark & Denzel Learn There's a Real Need for Cross ...
That's probably how the pitch meeting went for the upcoming Mark Wahlberg/Denzel Washington buddy cop action flick 2 Guns came about. The trailer opens with the lovable pair robbing a bank, making off with tons of cash, and driving into the desert where ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:40:46 GMT


Watch: Denzel Washington & Mark Wahlberg Team Up In Universal Pictures' '2 ...
While we wait for word on the U.K. release date of Universal Pictures' latest flick, we thankfully have for you the trailer for 2 Guns which stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The new trailer, which you can see for yourself below, finds two of ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:25:32 GMT

E! Online

Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington Kick Major Butt in 2 Guns Trailer ...
E! Online
Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington?now here's a pairing! The trailer and poster for 2 Guns are in the wild, and wouldn't you know the Hollywood tough guys are getting pretty trigger-happy in this upcoming crime drama that's ostensibly a buddy flick ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:16:20 GMT

'2 Guns' Trailer: Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington Are Bank Robbers, Bad ...
The trailer for "2 Guns" gives us a first look at Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as federal agents tasked with investigating each other. After the pair robs a bank while undercover-- and takes money they believe belongs to the mob -- they discover that ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:08:57 GMT

The Week Magazine

WATCH: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg team up for 2 Guns
The Week Magazine
In 2 Guns, adapted from Steven Grant's graphic novel of the same name, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg team up for a blood-and-bullets action blockbuster. The actors play two deeply embedded undercover agents who rob a bank together without ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 14:32:36 GMT

'2 Guns' trailer teams Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg in fight against drug ...
Expect plenty of fast-moving action and dialogue when Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg team up this summer as law-enforcement agents who don't really trust each other's in the action film "2 Guns." In the just-released first official trailer for the film, we ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 13:22:34 GMT

ApunKaChoice » Slide Show » 2 Guns: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg ...
Apun Ka Choice
That Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are two real cool actors is known to all, but you know what is cooler -- their teaming up! Starring the duo, the upcoming Hollywood film 2 Guns debuted a trailer which, by all means, is one of the best to come out ...

and more »
  Mon, 01 Apr 2013 13:10:56 GMT

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American Gangster, a Ridley Scott film, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
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