Welcome to Jollyhood’s first edition of Actor’s Bio; bridging the gap between you and your favourite actors by giving you juicy intimate details… yeah right, more like CV details. This week’s feature is on one of Hollywood’s acclaimed actors, Denzel Washington. With almost 40 years acting experience and 42 films to his credit to date, Denzel is ranked as one of the most affluent African American celebrities. Denzel isn’t just an actor but a screen writer, director and producer as well culminating in a net worth of $140m and an estimated $40m yearly revenue. He’s the second African American to have won the Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor and has more Oscar nominations than any other African American actor. Added to it are two Globe Awards and a Tony making a grand total of 39 awards so far.
Born Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon New York, the second of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis (Lowe) from Georgia and a Pentecostal father, Denzel Washington Sr. from Virginia. After high school Denzel enrolled at the University intent on a course in Journalism but caught the acting bug while appearing in a student drama production and upon graduation enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater. He left ACT just after a year to seek work as an actor. His first big screen appearance was in Carbon Copy (1981) with Steven Seagal. And in 1982 he was chosen for the plum role of Dr. Phillip Chandler in NBC’s hit medical series St Elsewhere. His film career began to take precedence when he won best supporting actor for his portrayal of Tripp, the runaway slave in Edward Zwick’s powerful historical masterpiece Glory (1989).
With his striking good looks, acting versatility and powerful screen presence, Denzel stole the heart of Hollywood and his fans with as well. He’s co-starred in big budget productions like the Pelican Brief (1993) and Courage Under Fire (1996) a role for which he was paid 10 million dollars. His work in critically acclaimed films like Malcolm X (1992) and The Hurricane (1999) got him an Oscar nomination before he finally won the statuette for Best Actor in 2002 for playing a corrupt cop in Training day (2001). He made his debut as a director with Antwone Fisher (2002) and The Great Debaters (2007). Taking on the role of producer for some of his films including the Book of Eli (2010) and Safe House (2012).
Denzel got married in 1983 and I want to believe he’s happily married considering he’s been at it for 32 years. Nice one Denz. Guess there’s still hope when it comes to Marital Bliss for our Hollywood stars. He lives with his wife Pauletta and four children in Los Angeles, California.
And in case you don’t know Denzel is a proud Christian, not surprising considering his preacher’s son background. To quote him ‘I read my Bible and the Word everyday. Good for you Denzel. Maybe it explains the talk in some quarters that Denzel has zero tolerance for taking off his clothes in movies and makes his stand known to producers. I kind of find that hard to believe considering I’ve seen him in flagrante in a couple of movies. Perhaps the no taking off clothing clause came in the latter years of his career. Whichever way I think we can all agree that Denzel knows his stuff and deserves every bit of his fame. So hurray Denzel! We love yah!
Thanks for taking the trip with me to get to know Denzel Washington. Feel closer to him already don’t you… (Wink). Don’t forget to join The Rock Xtreme for their Dance Concert ‘Unrestrained’ at Freedom Park, Lagos Island, Sunday 7th of November by 5pm. And it’s absolutely free!
Stay good people and don’t stop watching the movies.