Denzel Washington combines a dedication to his craft with
matinee idol good looks and ends up with a very popular package.
Denzel was born in Mount Vernon, New York on December 28th,
1954. As a child he hung out in his father's church and worked
with his mother in beauty salons and barber shops. That much
people watching couldn't help but rub off on young Denzel.
His parents separated when he was fourteen and Washington
went off to boarding school. He enrolled at Fordham University
for journalism and landed several starring roles in student
productions. After completing his B.A. in 1977, Denzel left
for San Francisco to follow his new passion for acting. He
had a scholarship at the American Conservatory Theater but
only stayed there one year. Feeling confident, Denzel decided
to seek a professional career.
Described by many as a "natural", he landed a role
in the NBC TV movie Wilma. In 1979 he was in a New York Shakespeare
Festival production of Coriolanus and by 1981 he had made
his film debut playing George Segal's illegitmate son in Carbon
In 1982, Denzel became a weekly visitor to people's TV sets
when he won the role of resident Dr. Phillip Chandler on the
NBC drama St. Elsewhere. He used his hiatuses wisely and during
the show's 6 year run he appeared in movies like A Soldier's
Story, Power, and Cry Freedom, for which he received Oscar®
and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor. With
that work behind him, more film work was easy to find when
the show ended and in 1989 Denzel won a Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award® and Golden Globe for his performance as
a Civil War soldier in Glory.
The award shows would come calling again in 1992, when he
earned a Best Actor Nomination for his performance in Malcolm
X. Denzel has worked with director Spike Lee several times.
Besides Malcolm X he has appeared in the director's Mo' Better
Blues and He Got Game.
Whether he's a lawyer (Philadelphia), a Shakespearean character
(Much Ado About Nothing), or a Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Crimson Tide),
Denzel always comes across with great performances. Speaking
about great performances, audiences and critics loved his
work in The Hurricane, where Denzel Washington portrays the
true life story of the wrongly convicted Rubin "Hurricane"
Carter. Working again with Norman Jewison (A Soldier's Story)
the pair screened a work-in-progress screening of the film
at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival. After the
screening they received a several minute ovation that was
due in no small part to Denzel's powerful performance.
On December 20th, 1999, Denzel was nominated for the 57th
Annual Golden Globe Awards for his role in The Hurricane.
He won the award on January 23rd.
In 2002, Denzel won an AFI Award for his performance in Training
Day. The role also earned him a Golden Globe nomination and
an Oscar® nomination. Denzel won the Oscar® on March
• Man on Fire (Remake) (2004) Creasy
• Paycheck (2003) Lead Actor
• Out of Time (2003) Matt Lee Whitlock
• Antwone Fisher (2002) Dr Jerome Davenport
• John Q (2002) John Quincy Archibald
• Training Day (2001) Alonzo Harris
• Remember the Titans (2000) Coach Boone
• The Hurricane (1999) Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
• The Bone Collector (1999) Lincoln Rhyme
• The Siege (1998) Anthony Hubbard
• He Got Game (1998) Jake Shuttlesworth
• Fallen (1998) John Hobbes
• The Preacher's Wife (1996) Dudley
• Courage Under Fire (1996) Nat Serling
• Devil in A Blue Dress (1995) Easy Rawlins
• Virtuosity (1995) Parker Barnes
• Crimson Tide (1995) Lt Commander Jim Hunter
• Philadelphia (1993) Joe Miller
• The Pelican Brief (1993) Gray Grantham
• Much Ado About Nothing (1993) Don Pedro--Prince of
• Malcolm X (1992) Malcolm X
• Mississippi Masala (1992) Demetrius
• Ricochet (1991) Nick Styles
• Mo' Better Blues (1990) Bleek Gilliam
• Heart Condition (1990) Napoleon Stone
• Glory (1989) Trip
• For Queen & Country (1989) Reuben James
• The Mighty Quinn (1989) Xavier
• Cry Freedom (1987) Stephen Biko
• Power (1986) Arnold Billings
• A Soldier's Story (1984) PFC Peterson
• Carbon Copy Roger Porter
• Reunion Actor