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Former star of the hit TV drama St. Elsewhere, actor/director Denzel Washington has earned popular and critical acclaim for his roles in several feature films, including Training Day and American Gangster.
Denzel Washington - Glory (2:05)
When Denzel Washington got word that casting had begun on the film "The Hurricane" he immediately jumped at the chance to portray boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.
As Denzel Washington began a career in acting, he landed his first major role as Dr. Philip Chandler in the television show "St. Elsewhere."
After portraying Malcolm X in the off Broadway play, "When the Chickens Come Home to Roost", Denzel Washington would return to the role in the film "Malcolm X" along with then up and coming director, Spike Lee.
After previously losing the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Cry Freedom," Denzel Washington won for his role as Pvt. Trip in the Civil War drama "Glory."
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Born in Mount Vernon, New York, on December 28, 1954, Denzel Washington first studied journalism at Fordham University but then discovered an interest in acting. He made his feature film debut in the comedy A Carbon Copy (1981) and was cast on the hit TV medical drama St. Elsewhere (1982-8). He went on to appear in several blockbuster movies, including Man on Fire, The Book of Eli and American Gangster,
"No matter how big a movie is, I never want it to be just another gig."
"I think we all have some point in our lives where we’ve gone too far and you have to come back."
"My professional work is being a better actor. I don't know how to be a celebrity."
"I called my mother, and she said I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. I was like, 'Does that mean I can never have wine again?'"
"I'm not a liberal or a conservative completely. Who is? Or why do you have to be? You assess the pros, the cons, of both sides and you make an intelligent decision."
"Acting is just a way of making a living, the family is life."
"Acting's like someone asking you for years to write the characters, but they write the book."
"Man gives you the award but God gives you the reward."
"If I am a cup maker, I'm interested in making the best cup I possibly can. My effort goes into that cup, not what people think about it."
"If you don't trust the pilot, don't go."
"Do what you got to do so that you can do what you want to do. And fail big."
and won Oscars for his roles in Glory and Training Day.
Actor Denzel Hayes Washington was born on December 28, 1954, in Mount Vernon, New York. Washington is considered to be one of the most engaging leading men of our time. He is the son of a Pentecostal minister and a beauty shop owner and has two siblings. Washington first too the stage around the age of 7 or 8, appearing in a talent show at his local Boys & Girls Club. The club provided him with a safe place to be and to help keep him out of trouble. When he was 14, his parents' marriage broke down and he and his older sister were sent away to boarding school.
Washington went to Fordham University, but he proved to be a poor student initially. After taking some time away from college, he returned to the university with a new interest in acting. Washington later won a scholarship to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and afterwards worked with the Shakespeare in the Park ensemble.
Washington made his feature film debut in the comedy A Carbon Copy (1981). He also appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions and in television movies before being cast in a starring role in the hit television medical drama St Elsewhere (1982–88).
Washington grabbed his first of five Oscar nominations for Cry Freedom (1987) as real-life South African apartheid martyr Steve Biko. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Glory (1989).
Washington proved time and again he could disappear into a role and mesmerize audiences.
He appeared in several notable films throughout the 1990s, including his first of four Spike Lee collaborations Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Malcolm X (1992) in another Oscar-nominated performance, Philadelphia (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Courage Under Fire (1996) and The Hurricane (1999), for which he received a Golden Globe for Best Actor and another Oscar nomination.
In 2001, he received his second Oscar (this time in a leading role) for the cop thriller Training Day. The following year, he directed his first film, the drama Antwone Fisher, in which he also co-starred.
Several blockbusters followed, including Man on Fire (2004), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and Spike Lee's Inside Man (2006). He also starred as Frank Lucas, a real-life heroin kingpin from Harlem, in the 2007 film American Gangster, opposite Russell Crowe. In 2009, Washington starred as MTA Dispatcher Walter Garber in the remake of the classic film The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 co-starring with John Travolta.
In recent years, Washington has continued to explore a range of roles.
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