Certainly, there’s no gainsaying Denzel Washington is one of the most successful black actors in Hollywood. Being one of the best of his kinds, he always draws a lot of curiosity from audiences everywhere. Denzel often portrays serious and important larger than life characters and does so superbly with his great voice and amazing acting chops.
Did you know that the man is a devout Christian and has considered turning to preaching? Here are the things one ought to know about his family life, including other facts of his life.
Denzel Washington Bio & Age
The famed actor was born Denzel Washington on 28 December 1954. He was named after his father, Denzel Hayes Washington Sr. His mother named Lennis Lynne was a beauty parlor owner at the time of his birth. His father was an ordained Pentecostal minister who also doubled as an employee for the New York City Water Department and a local department store called S. Klein. The family lived at the time in Mount Vernon, New York.
Denzel Washington schooled in Mount Vernon until 1968 at the Pennington-Grimes Elementary School. The year 1968 was the year that his parents split up and Denzel Washington who was only 14 years old at the time saw his life undergo a dramatic shift. Lennis Lynne put her son in a private preparatory school known as Oakland Military Academy which is located in New Windsor, New York. It was a decision that helped to remove Washington from the bad company that he was keeping and he was therefore saved from going the route of some of his friends at the time who ended up in the prison.
After Oakland Military Academy, Denzel Washington attended Mainland High School before moving on to Texas Tech University. He would later graduate with a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977. While at Fordham, Denzel Washington also played basketball as a guard. A period of indecision in his life actually led him to pursue writing as a career. He had taken a semester off when he was unable to decide what major to study and during that time he worked as a creative art director in an overnight summer camp. It was there that a colleague suggested to him to try acting after he took part in a staff talent show.
Denzel grew to have a stellar career encompassing theatre, film and even television. On screen, he has portrayed quite an array of great real-life figures like the South African anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko in 1987’s Cry Freedom. He also played Malcolm X in the 1992 movie Malcolm X. More to that, he has acted as Herman Boone, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Melvin B. Tolson and Frank Lucas.
Denzel Washington also has some directing credit under his belt. His directorial debut was the biographical film, Antwone Fisher. His most recent directorial effort was the 2016 movie Fences which got nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The man has received quite a number of awards in the course of his career including the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award that was awarded to him at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in 2016.
Who Are His Wife, Sons and Daughters?
Denzel Washington has what some would consider as one of the few stable marriages in Hollywood. He got married to his wife Pauletta Pearson as far back as 1983 after the two met on the set of Wilma, his first television screen work. The two renewed their wedding vows in 1995, Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiated the ceremony. Denzel Washington is a Christian who has even spoken of becoming a preacher.
The Washingtons have been blessed with four children. They include John David (a son born on July 28, 1984), Katia (a daughter born on November 27, 1986) and twins Olivia and Malcolm (a daughter and son born on April 10, 1991). The couple’s kids also seem to be doing quite well for themselves.
The first son, John David is a former football player. Katia studied at Yale where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Olivia appeared in Lee Danie’s film The Butler and Malcolm holds a degree in film studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
How Tall Is He?
Denzel Washington is 6ft 1in (185 cm) tall and weighs about 176 lb (80 kg). The actor has been known to undergo intense training for roles. For instance, he trained with Terry Claybon the famous boxing trainer while preparing to act the part of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter in 1999 for the movie The Hurricane. He also took to working out with the Navy Seals while preparing for the movie The Equalizer.
Quick Facts about the Actor
1. Denzel Washington also studied acting at the Lincoln Center campus and went to graduate school at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
2. He served as the spokesperson for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, for his service, a New York City Elementary school was named after him.
3. Denzel is a philanthropist with a number of huge donations over the years including a 1995 US$1 million contribution to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
4. He supported Barack Obama when he came out in 2008.
5. The actor was named by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as one of the only three people that they would negotiate with for the release of three defence contractors that they held captive from 2003 to 2008.
6. In 1991, Denzel Washington got an honorary doctorate from his alma mater. Fordham University accordingly gave their reasons for awarding him the degree to include his success in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent. He has also received honorary degrees from Morehouse College and the University of Pennsylvania.