Denzel Washington: Hollywood Film Icon | Biography



NARRATOR: One of
the most enduring Hollywood heavyweights,
he is an Oscar and Tony award-winning actor. Biography celebrates
Denzel Washington. Denzel Hayes Washington
Jr. was born in 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. The son of a Pentecostal
minister and a beautician, he grew up during the peak
of the civil rights movement, and was bussed into one
of his neighborhood's first integrated schools. However, Washington's happy
childhood took a turn at age 14 when his parents divorced. Washington began to fall
in with the wrong crowd, and so his mother sent him
away to boarding school. This fateful
decision allowed him to avoid the criminal lifestyle
that trapped many of his peers. Washington went on
to study at Fordham University, where he discovered
a love for acting and the arts. He soon after moved
to San Francisco to attend the American
Conservatory Theater. Washington's big
break came when he joined the cast of the
medical drama "St. Elsewhere." The hit show ran for
six seasons and launched Washington's film career. He never looked back. Over the years, he headlined
dramatic hits including "Philadelphia," "Remember
the Titans," and "Flight," and created riveting depictions
of historical figures like Malcolm X and
Rubin Hurricane Carter. The recipient of
countless awards, Washington won Oscars for Best
Supporting Actor in the Civil War drama "Glory,"
and for Best Actor for his portrayal of a corrupt
policeman in "Training Day." He became only the second
African-American performer after Sidney Poitier to
claim the latter honor. At the height of
his film career, Washington returned to the
theater in spectacular fashion. He won the 2010
Tony for Best Actor in the Broadway
revival of "Fences." His appearances in
"A Raisin in the Sun" and "The Iceman Cometh" also
received critical acclaim. At the 2016 Golden
Globes, Washington received the coveted
Cecil B. DeMille award for his outstanding
contributions to the world of entertainment. Washington married actress
Pauletta Pearson in 1983. The couple has four children.

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