Denzel Washington
Actor, screenwriter, director, producer
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. is an American actor, film director and film producer. 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.
Biography
Denzel Washington's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Denzel Washington from around the web
'Hidden Figures' Director On 'Hidden Fences' Flub: 'It's Not That Funny'
Huffington Post - 3 days
Ted Melfi, director of “Hidden Figures,” has finally weighed in on the infamous “Hidden Fences” controversy.  At January’s Golden Globes, both Michael Keaton and red carpet host Jenna Bush referred to the film as “Hidden Fences,” mistakenly combining the title of Melfi’s movie, about black women’s contributions to NASA, with Denzel Washington’s “Fences.” The flubs launched hilarious memes on social media, but also criticism over Hollywood’s inability to differentiate between two films with predominantly black casts.  Melfi says his initial reaction to the mistake was to laugh.  “You laugh about it. You say, ‘Oh that’s funny.’ And then... it’s not that funny,” Melfi told The Huffington Post. SAY HIDDEN FENCES ONE MO' TIME! #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/cHZ1qj4ABd — HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) January 9, 2017 “You start to analyze it. Is it misspelled on the teleprompter? You think, well if that’s the case, it’s even ...
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Huffington Post article
What makes a successful film adaptation of a stage play?
LATimes - 4 days
Denzel Washington’s Oscar-nominated “Fences” is a screen adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson. Such adaptations are about as old as Hollywood cinema. With literally hundreds of stage-to-screen films made over the decades, these movies present their own challenges (limited...
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LATimes article
The Carpetbagger: Denzel Washington, the Oscars and Race
NYTimes - 5 days
The actor, nominated for “Fences,” discusses bringing more of August Wilson’s work to the screen. And he finds a path to social progress.
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NYTimes article
Denzel Washington, an actor of intricate parts, emerges as a favorite for the Oscar
LATimes - 6 days
Denzel Washington strolls in dressed all baggy: ingratiating, sly, a man of eloquence and scat, quiet and crescendo. The bulk of him rises. So many things writ into his characters, saint, conniver, fallen soul, dreamer, and a laugh that comes at you like a roll of thunder. He steps to a window...
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LATimes article
Watch Denzel Washington's Powerful Message To Black Hollywood
The Huffington Post - 7 days
Once again, Denzel Washington has demonstrated why he’s one of the greatest ever to do it.  The 62-year-old actor appeared at the 48th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday to accept the Best Movie Actor award for his role in “Fences.” Washington, who remains one of the most lauded black actors in Hollywood, had some inspirational words to say about making it in the movie industry while black.   More...
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The Huffington Post article
12 Baby Names Inspired By Black Stars Who Are Making History
Huffington Post - 10 days
In our previous salutes to Black History Month, we’ve looked back to activists, pop culture icons and other barrier breakers of the past. Today, we’re focusing on the present ― the history that’s being made right now with this year’s increased numbers of nominees and winners of various screen awards. Many more people of color made the lists this year than in years past, and these include not just actors, but also directors, producers, writers and musicians. Here are some of the more outstanding names for baby name inspiration. August August Wilson ― the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. ― wrote both the play and screenplay for “Fences,” which won him a posthumous Oscar nom. August is by far the most popular month name for boys, now at number 195, and a celebrity favorite.  Ava Ava DuVernay has won several past awards and is the first black woman nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, for her film “13th.”  The na ...
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Huffington Post article
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis detail their three favorite 'Fences' scenes
LATimes - 11 days
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis played married couple Troy and Rose Maxson 114 times in the 2010 Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Fences.” That number came up often in a recent conversation with the pair while Davis was on her lunch break from shooting her TV series, “How to Get Away With...
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LATimes article
WATCH: How Denzel Washington Prepared for 'Fences'
ABC News - 13 days
The Oscar nominee tells ABC News' Chris Connelly the movie he watched to prepare to direct "Fences."
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ABC News article
Interview: John Goodman on Playing Paul Bunyan in "Bunyan & Babe"
Huffington Post - 16 days
John Goodman is one of Hollywood's most versatile performers, with an astonishing range of iconic performances. He is a Coen brothers favorite, appearing (and often yelling) in "The Big Lebowski," "Barton Fink," and "Raising Arizona." He played Denzel Washington's drug dealer in "Flight," Ben Affleck's Hollywood inside man in "Argo," Roseanne's devoted blue collar husband in "Roseanne," and Linda Tripp as one of the most popular hosts on "Saturday Night Live." His voice performances in animated films include Billy Crystal's best pal in "Monsters Inc." and "Monsters University," Santa in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Pacha in Disney's "The Emperor's New Groove," and Mr. Prendergast in LAIKA's "ParaNorman." His latest voice performance is in "Bunyan & Babe," as American folklore hero Paul Bunyan, now in limited theatrical release and available for streaming on Google Play (free until February 16, 2017). In an interview, Goodman that his animated performances begin when ...
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Huffington Post article
Is Denzel Washington on his way to a third Oscar?
LATimes - 17 days
Is Denzel Washington now the front-runner for the lead actor Oscar? Should actors use their platforms to espouse their political views? And could Isabelle Huppert pull off a surprise Oscar win for lead actress? Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide...
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LATimes article
Is Denzel Washington on his way to a third Oscar?
LATimes - 17 days
Is Denzel Washington now the front-runner for the lead actor Oscar? Should actors use their platforms to espouse their political views? And could Isabelle Huppert pull off a surprise Oscar win for lead actress? Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide...
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LATimes article
Ben Affleck And Antoine Fuqua Are No Longer Directing 'The Batman' And 'Scarface,' Respectively
Huffington Post - 20 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Two high-profile directors, Ben Affleck and Antoine Fuqua, stepped down from their high-profile reboots on Monday night, one to focus on his acting duties and the other to make a sequel instead. Hollywood roars on!  The first was Affleck, who announced in 2015 his plans to co-write and direct a standalone Batman movie. Then Fuqua said he would be abandoning a reboot of the gangster classic “Scarface.” Technically, Affleck’s vision for “The Batman” ― i ...
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Huffington Post article
2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Complete list of winners
LATimes - 22 days
The 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards have wrapped at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.  Winners in the film categories included “Fences” stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, and “La La Land’s” Emma Stone.” The ensemble cast award went to “Hidden Figures.” Meanwhile TV winners include “Veep’s”...
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LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Denzel Washington
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 61
    In 2016, Washington starred as one of the leads in the remake of 1960 western film of the same name, The Magnificent Seven, alongside Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, and Peter Sarsgaard.
    More Details Hide Details Principal photography began on May 18, 2015, in the north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The film premiered on September 8, 2016 at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the United States in conventional and IMAX theatres on September 23, 2016. In The Magnificent Seven, Washington plays Sam Chisolm ("the Bounty Hunter"), a duly sworn warrant officer from Wichita, Kansas who goes after bad guys. Washington's character was renamed from Chris Adams (played by Yul Brynner in the original film) to Sam Chisolm. It is Washington's first Western film. Washington did not watch Western films growing up since it was the end of the Western era in the movies. Moreover, he and his siblings were barred from going to the cinema since his father was a minister in a church. They instead grew up watching biblical films like King of Kings and The Ten Commandments. However, he has admitted seeing portions of Rawhide and Bonanza shows. He did not watch the original film in preparation for this but has watched Seven Samurai. Fuqua said that Washington, whom he has twice collaborated with, was his first choice to be cast irrespective of which role. The producers were skeptical whether he would take the job since it was a Western film. Fuqua then flew to New York City to negotiate with Washington, who accepted the offer.
    He is currently in post production for his second directorial effort, Fences, starring himself opposite Viola Davis, slated for a December 25, 2016 release.
    More Details Hide Details Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York. His father, Denzel Hayes Washington, Sr., a native of Buckingham County, Virginia, was an ordained Pentecostal minister, and also worked for the Water Department and at a local department store, S. Klein. His mother, Lennis "Lynne" (née Lowe), was a beauty parlor owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem.
    In 2016, Washington was selected as the recipient for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 59
    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 Raisin in the Sun.
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    In 2014 he starred in The Equalizer, an action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, based on the television series of same name starring Edward Woodward.
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    From April to June 2014, Washington played the leading role in the Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic drama A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon.
    More Details Hide Details The show received positive reviews and won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.
  • 2013
    Age 58
    In 2013, Washington starred in 2 Guns, alongside Mark Walberg.
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  • 2012
    Age 57
    In 2012, Washington starred in Flight, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 2010
    Age 55
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 2010, Washington starred in The Book of Eli, a post-Apocalyptic drama set in the near future.
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    In the spring of 2010, Washington played Troy Maxson, opposite Viola Davis, in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play on June 13, 2010.
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  • 2009
    Age 54
    He next appeared in Tony Scott's 2009 film The Taking of Pelham 123 (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.
    More Details Hide Details In the summer of 1990, Washington appeared in the title role of the Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Richard III. In 2005, he appeared onstage again as Marcus Brutus in a Broadway production of Julius Caesar. Despite mixed reviews, the production's limited run was a consistent sell-out.
  • 2008
    Age 53
    In 2008, Washington visited Israel with a delegation of African-American artists in honor of the state's 60th birthday.
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  • 2007
    Age 52
    In 2007, Washington co-starred with Russell Crowe, for the second time after 1995's Virtuosity, in Ridley Scott's American Gangster.
    More Details Hide Details He also directed and starred in the drama The Great Debaters with Forest Whitaker.
  • 2006
    Age 51
    In 2006, Washington worked alongside Irish rock band The Script on a project combining music and Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details The hybrid of genres was critically acclaimed, but didn't receive much mainstream attention because of legal conflicts between The Script's record label and Denzel's studio commitments.
    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.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2004
    Age 49
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 to Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund in 1995 and to Wiley College to resuscitate the college's debate team. Washington is an Independent voter. He supported Barack Obama in 2008. He has been a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Lakers since childhood. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia named Washington as one of three people (the others being directors Oliver Stone and Michael Moore) with whom they were willing to negotiate for the release of three defense contractors the group had held captive from 2003 to 2008. 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 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.
  • 2003
    Age 48
    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.
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  • 2002
    Age 47
    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.
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    In 2002, he made his directorial debut with biographical film Antwone Fisher.
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  • 2001
    Age 46
    Washington won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2001 cop thriller Training Day, where he played Detective Alonzo Harris, a corrupt Los Angeles cop with questionable law-enforcement tactics.
    More Details Hide Details He was the second African-American performer to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. The first was Sidney Poitier, who was presented with an Honorary Academy Award the same night. Washington currently holds the records for most Oscar nominations (six) and the most wins (two) by an actor of African descent.
  • 2000
    Age 45
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He was the first black actor to win the award since Sidney Poitier in 1963.
    Washington did receive a Golden Globe Award in 2000 and a Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for the role.
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  • 1999
    Age 44
    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.
    More Details Hide Details A former reporter, who was angry that the film portrayed Carter as innocent despite the overturned conviction, began a campaign to pressure Academy Award voters not to vote for the film.
  • 1998
    Age 43
    In 1998, Washington starred in Spike Lee's film He Got Game.
    More Details Hide Details Washington 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.
  • 1996
    Age 41
    In 1996, he appeared with Whitney Houston in the romantic drama The Preacher's Wife.
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    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.
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  • 1995
    Age 40
    In 1995, Denzel and Pauletta renewed their wedding vows in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.
    More Details Hide Details 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 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.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1993
    Age 38
    The next year he played the lawyer of a gay man with AIDS in the 1993 film Philadelphia.
    More Details Hide Details During the early and mid-1990s, Washington 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.
  • 1992
    Age 37
    Washington was reunited with Lee to play one of his most critically acclaimed roles, the title character of 1992's Malcolm X.
    More Details Hide Details His performance as the black nationalist leader earned him another nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
  • 1991
    Age 36
    In 1991, he starred as Demetrius Williams in the romantic drama Mississippi Masala.
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  • 1990
    Age 35
    In 1990, Washington starred as Bleek Gilliam in the Spike Lee film Mo' Better Blues.
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  • 1989
    Age 34
    In 1989, Washington won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a defiant, self-possessed ex-slave soldier in the film Glory.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1987
    Age 32
    In 1987, he starred as South African anti-apartheid political activist Steven Biko in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom, for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1983
    Age 28
    On June 25, 1983, Washington married Pauletta Pearson, whom he met on the set of his first screen work, the television film Wilma.
    More Details Hide Details The couple have four children: John David (b. July 28, 1984), a former football player with the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions (and before that, college football at Morehouse); 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.
  • 1982
    Age 27
    A major career break came when he starred as Dr. Phillip Chandler in NBC's television hospital drama St. Elsewhere, which ran from 1982 to 1988.
    More Details Hide Details He was one of only a few African-American actors to appear on the series for its entire six-year run. He also appeared in several television, motion picture and stage roles, such as the films A Soldier's Story (1984), Hard Lessons (1986) and Power (1986).
    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.
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  • 1977
    Age 22
    Shortly after graduating from Fordham, Washington made his screen acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television film Wilma, and his first Hollywood appearance in the 1981 film Carbon Copy.
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  • 1976
    Age 21
    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.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1970
    Age 15
    After Oakland, Washington next attended Mainland High School, a public high school in Daytona Beach, Florida, from 1970 to 1971.
    More Details Hide Details 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 a period of indecision on which major to study and dropping out of school for a semester, 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 where 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.
  • 1968
    Age 13
    Washington attended Pennington-Grimes Elementary School in Mount Vernon until 1968.
    More Details Hide Details 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."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1954
    Born
    Born on December 28, 1954.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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