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Washington, Denzel 1954–

Washington, Denzel 1954–

PERSONAL

Full name, Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr.; born December 28, 1954, in Mount Vernon, NY; son of Denzel Hayes (a Pentecostal minister) and Lennis "Lynne" (a beauty shop owner and operator and singer) Washington; married Pauletta Pearson (a singer and actress),June 25, 1983; children: John David (a football player), Katia, Malcolm, Olivia. Education: Fordham University, B.A., journalism, 1977; studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA, 1970s, and in New York City with Wyn Handman. Avocational Interests: Basketball, reading, cooking.

Addresses: Agent— Ed Limato, William Morris Agency, One William Morris Place, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.Publicist— Alan Nierob, Rogers & Cowan Public Relations, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Seventh Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Career: Actor, producer, and director. Mundy Lane Entertainment, founder; also a drama instructor. Georgia (restaurant), Los Angeles, founder, 1989. Worked in a barber shop, at a post office, at a factory, for a sanitation department, and operated a babysitting service. Boys and Girls Clubs of America, national spokesperson and former member; affiliated with the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA); worked as camp counselor; affiliated with several charities and organizations, including the Gathering Place (a hospice)and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America.

Awards, Honors: Audelco Award, Audience Development Committee, c. 1981, for When the Chickens Came Home to Roost; Obie Award (with others), distinguished ensemble performance, Village Voice, 1982, for A Soldier's Play; Academy Award nomination, best actor in a supporting role, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture—drama, both 1988, for Cry Freedom; Image Award, best supporting actor, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1988, for Power; Cognac Festival du Film Policier Award, best actor, 1989, for For Queen & Country; Academy Award, best actor in a supporting role, Golden Globe Award, best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture, and Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award and Image Award, both best supporting actor, all 1990, for Glory; honorary D.F.A., Fordham University, 1991; New York Film Critics Award, best actor, 1992, Academy Award nomination, best actor in a leading role, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture—drama, Silver Berlin Bear, Berlin International Film Festival, Chicago Film Critics Association Award, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award, Southeastern Film Critics Association Award, and MTV Movie Award, all best actor, 1993, and Image Award, outstanding actor in a motion picture, 1995, all for Malcolm X; Piper– Heidieck Tribute to Independent Vision Award, Sun-dance Film Festival, 1993; Spencer Tracy Award, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993; Image Award, outstanding actor in a motion picture, 1994, for Mississippi Masala; MTV Movie Award nomination (with Tom Hanks), best onscreen duo, 1994, for Philadelphia; MTV Movie Award nomination, most desirable male, 1994, for The Pelican Brief; Emmy Award nomination (with others), outstanding informational special, 1995, for Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream; Golden Apple Award, male star of the year, Hollywood Women's Press Association, 1995; Image Award, outstanding performance in an animated or live action dramatic youth or children's series or special, 1996, for "Rumpelstiltskin," an episode of Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child; Image Award nomination, best actor in a motion picture, and MTV Movie Award nomination, best male performance, both 1996, both for Crimson Tide; Harvard Foundation Award, 1996; Image Award, best actor in a motion picture, Lone Star Film and Television Award, best actor, and Southeastern Film Critics Association Award, best actor, all 1997, for Courage under Fire; named male star of the year, ShoWest Convention, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1997; Special Award, entertainer of the year, Image awards, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1997; Whitney Young Award, Los Angeles Urban League, 1997; Image Award, outstanding performance in a youth or children's series or special, 1998, for "Mother Goose: A Rappin' and Rhymin' Special," Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child; named one of the ten most popular movie stars, Harris Poll, 1998; Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a motion picture, and Black Film Award nomination, Acapulco Black Film Festival, best actor, both 1999, for He Got Game; Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actor— suspense, 1999, for The Siege; Golden Globe Award and Golden Satellite Award nomination, International Press Academy, both best performance by an actor in a motion picture—drama, Screen Actors Guild Award, outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, Image Award, outstanding actor in a motion picture, Black Reel Award, best actor, Silver Berlin Bear, best actor, Academy Award nomination, best actor in a leading role, Chicago Film Critics Association Award nomination, both best actor, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actor—drama, all 2000, for The Hurricane; Norman Zarky Humanitarian Award (with Pauletta Washington), Women in Film Crystal awards, 2000; Black Entertainment Award, best actor, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Black Reel Award, best actor, Image Award and Golden Satellite Award nomination, both best actor in a motion picture drama, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actor—drama, all 2001, for Remember the Titans; Emmy Award nomination (with others), outstanding nonfiction special, 2001, for Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks; People's Choice Award nominations, favorite motion picture actor and favorite motion picture star in a drama, both 2001; named one of the top twenty entertainers of 2001, E! Entertainment Television, 2001; Boston Society of Film Critics Award and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, both best actor, 2001, Academy Award, best actor in a leading role, Image Award, outstanding actor in a motion picture, AFI Film Award, AFI actor of the year—male—movies, American Film Institute (AFI), Black Reel Award and Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award, both best actor, Golden Globe Award nomination and Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture, drama, Chicago Film Critics Association Award nomination, and Online Film Critics Society Award nomination, all best actor, MTV Movie Award, best villain, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, all 2002, for Training Day; MTV Movie Award nomination, best line from a film, 2002, for "King Kong ain't got nothin' on me," a line from the film Training Day; American Cinematheque Award, 2002; Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association Award, best director, 2002, Image Award, outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture, Black Reel Award, Golden Satellite Award nomination, and Phoenix Film Critics Society Award nomination, all best director, Stanley Kramer Award (with Todd Black), Producers Guild of America, and Black Reel Award nomination, best supporting actor, all 2003, all for Antwone Fisher; named to the Power 100 List, Premiere magazine, 2002 and 2003; Image Award, outstanding actor in a motion picture, and Black Reel Award nomination, best actor, both 2003, for John Q; Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a motion picture, and Black Reel Award nomination, best actor, both 2004, for Out of Time; Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award, best actor, 2004; Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a motion picture, 2005, for Man on Fire; named one of the greatest movie stars of all time, Premiere magazine, 2005; People's Choice Award nomination, favorite male movie star, 2005, 2007, and 2008; Washington's performance as Malcolm X in Malcolm X was named one of the 100 greatest performances of all time, Premiere magazine, 2006; Black Entertainment Award nomination, best actor, 2006; named a legend and leader in an article in Ebony, November, 2006; Black Movie Award nomination, outstanding performance by an actor in a leading role, 2006, Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a motion picture, 2007, and Black Reel Award nomination, best actor, 2007, all for Inside Man; Britannia Award, excellence in film, British Academy of Film and Television Arts/LA Britannia awards, 2007; honorary D.H.L., Morehouse College, 2007; People's Choice Award nominations, favorite male movie star, 2007 and 2008; Satellite Award nomination, best actor in a motion picture, drama, International Press Academy, 2007, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture—drama, MTV Movie Award nominations, best male performance and best villain, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination (with others),outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, all 2008, for American Gangster; named the favorite actor in the United States, Harris Poll, 2007 and 2008; Image Award, outstanding actor in a motion picture, Image Award nomination, outstanding directing in a motion picture, and Christopher Award (with others),outstanding feature film, all 2008, for The Great Debaters; Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award, best actor, 2008; scholar, American Conservatory Theater.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Aedile, Roman citizen, Volscian citizen, and other roles, Coriolanus, 1979, filmed version of New York Shakespeare Festival production.

Roger Porter, Carbon Copy, Avco–Embassy Pictures, 1981.

Private first class Melvin Peterson, A Soldier's Story, Columbia, 1984.

Arnold Billings, Power, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1986.

Stephen "Steve" Biko, Cry Freedom, Universal, 1987.

Reuben James, For Queen & Country, Atlantic Releasing, 1988.

Reunion (short film), Life Cycle Productions, c. 1988.

Bleek Gilliam, Mo' Better Blues, Universal, 1990.

Napoleon Stone, Heart Condition, New Line Cinema, 1990.

Private Trip, Glory, TriStar, 1990.

Xavier Quinn, The Mighty Quinn (also known as Big Bad Man, Finding Maubee, and Jamaica Cop), Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1990.

Nick Styles, Ricochet, Warner Bros., 1991.

Demetrius Williams, Mississippi Masala, Paramount, 1992.

Title role, Malcolm X (also known as X), Warner Bros., 1992.

Don Pedro (Prince of Aragon), Much Ado about Nothing, Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1993.

Gray Grantham, The Pelican Brief, Warner Bros., 1993.

Joe Miller, Philadelphia (also known as At Risk and People Like Us), TriStar, 1993.

Himself, A Century of Cinema (documentary; also known as Hollywood Stars: A Century of Cinema),Miramax, 1994.

Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins and narrator, Devil in a Blue Dress (also known as Le diable en robe bleue),TriStar, 1995.

Lieutenant commander Ron Hunter (some sources cite Jim Hunter), Crimson Tide, Buena Vista, 1995.

Lieutenant Parker Barnes, Virtuosity, Paramount, 1995.

Dudley (Dud), The Preacher's Wife, Buena Vista, 1996.

Lieutenant colonel Nathaniel Serling, Courage under Fire, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1996.

Detective John Hobbes, Fallen, Warner Bros., 1997.

Anthony "Hub" Hubbard, The Siege, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1998.

Himself, Straight from the Streets (documentary), Ideal Enterprises, 1998.

Jake Shuttleworth, He Got Game, Buena Vista, 1998.

Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, Universal, 1999.

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (title role), The Hurricane (also known as Hurricane, Hurricane Carter, and Lazarus and the Hurricane), Universal, 1999.

Coach Herman Boone, Remember the Titans, Buena Vista, 2000.

(In archive footage) Malcolm X, Bamboozled (also known as It's Showtime and Very Black Show), New Line Cinema, 2000.

Alonzo Harris, Training Day, Warner Bros., 2001.

John Quincy Archibald (title role), John Q (also known as John Q.), New Line Cinema, 2001.

Dr. Jerome Davenport, Antwone Fisher, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2002.

Matthias Lee Whitlock, Out of Time, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 2003.

Ben Marco, The Manchurian Candidate, Paramount, 2004.

Creasy, Man on Fire, Twentieth Century–Fox, 2004.

Agent Doug Carlin, Deja Vu, Buena Vista, 2006.

Detective Keith Frazier, Inside Man, Universal, 2006.

Frank Lucas, American Gangster (also known as The Return of Superfly and Tru Blu), Universal, 2007.

Melvin B. Tolson, The Great Debaters, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 2007.

Himself, Hollywood on Fire (documentary), Saylor Brothers Entertainment/Outlast Innertainment, 2008.

Lieutenant Zachary Garber, The Taking of Pelham 123, Columbia, c. 2009.

Film Work:

Director and producer, Antwone Fisher, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2002.

Director, The Great Debaters, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 2007.

Worked on other projects.

Television Appearances; Series:

Dr. Philip Chandler, St. Elsewhere, NBC, 1982–88.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Kirk, Flesh & Blood, CBS, 1979.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Robert Eldridge at the age of eighteen, Wilma, NBC, 1977.

Martin Sawyer, License to Kill, CBS, 1984.

George McKenna, The George McKenna Story (also known as Hard Lessons), CBS, 1986.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Freedomfest: Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday Celebration, Fox, 1988.

Narrator, "Baka: People of the Forest" (documentary), National Geographic Specials, PBS, 1989.

Himself, Motown 30: What's Goin' On!, CBS, 1990.

ABC in Concert, ABC, 1991.

Narrator, "Jammin': Jelly Roll Morton on Broadway,"Great Performances, PBS, 1992.

Muhammad Ali's 50th Birthday Celebration, ABC, 1992.

Himself, The Barbara Walters Special (also known as Barbara Walters: Interviews of a Lifetime and The Barbara Walters Summer Special), ABC, 1993.

(In archive footage) Himself, All–Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! (also known as Sesame Street's "All–Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!"), ABC, 1994.

Host, NBA at 50, TNT, 1996.

Voices of crooked man and Humpty Dumpty, "Mother Goose: A Rappin' and Rhymin' Special," Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (animated),HBO, 1997.

Bringin' in the Holidays with BeBe Winans & Friends, syndicated, 1997.

Himself, The Great Christmas Movies, American Movie Classics, 1998.

Himself, A Century of Black Cinema, syndicated, 2000.

Voice of Muhammad Ali, Twice Born (documentary), NBC, 2000.

The BET 20th Anniversary Celebration, Black Entertainment Television (BET), 2000.

Himself, The Making of "Antwone Fisher," c. 2001.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men, American Movie Classics, 2002.

Himself, The Stars' First Time … on Entertainment Tonight with Mary Hart, CBS, 2003.

Oscar Countdown 2003, ABC, 2003.

Himself, Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem, NBC, 2004.

Himself, Jonathan Demme and the Making of "The Manchurian Candidate," 2004.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, Michael Moore, el gran agitador, 2004.

(In archive footage) Die Geschichte des erotischen Films (documentary), [Germany], 2004.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Alonzo Harris, Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters, HBO, 2006.

Himself, Forbes Celebrity 100: Who Made Bank?, E! Entertainment Television, 2006.

Himself, Inside Men: Denzel & Spike—Man to Man, Black Entertainment Television (BET), 2006.

Himself, The Ultimate Heist: Making "Inside Man,"2006.

Himself, Dateline NBC: Going for Gold (also known as Going for Gold: A Dateline NBC Special), NBC, 2007.

(Uncredited) Himself (audience member), The World Awaits: De La Hoya vs. May weather, HBO, 2007.

Himself and Frank Lucas, Movie Special: American Gangster, Black Entertainment Television (BET),c. 2007.

Himself, We Have a Dream (documentary), multiple channels, including KCAL Los Angeles, WNBC New York, and WCIU Chicago, 2008.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself and Frank Lucas, Oscar, que empiece el espectaculo, Canal+Espana (Spain), 2008.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Cohost, The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1987.

The 60th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1988.

20th NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1988.

Presenter, The 62nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1990.

Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa, 1990.

The 22nd Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1990.

Host, The 23rd Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1991.

Presenter, The 45th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1991.

Presenter, The 63rd Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1991.

Host, The Essence Awards, CBS, 1992.

Presenter, The 64th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1992.

The AFI Salute to Sidney Poitier (also known as The 20th Annual American Film Institute Life Achievement Award), NBC, 1992.

Presenter, The MTV Movie Awards (also known as 1993 MTV Movie Awards), MTV, 1993.

Presenter, The 19th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1993.

Presenter, The 65th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1993.

The Essence Awards, Fox, 1994.

The 26th Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1994.

Presenter, The 67th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1995.

Presenter, The Third Annual Trumpet Awards Ceremony, TBS, 1995.

Cohost, The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 1996.

The 1996 ESPY Awards, ABC, 1996.

The ShoWest Awards, TNT, 1997.

28th NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 1997.

Presenter, The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998.

Presenter, The 71st Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1999.

Presenter, Sixth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (also known as Screen Actors Guild Sixth Annual Awards), TNT, 2000.

The 72nd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2000.

The 31st Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2000.

2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2000.

Presenter, 2001 Essence Awards, Fox, 2001.

The 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2001.

Presenter, The 74th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2002.

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Tom Hanks, USA Network, 2002.

The 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2002.

Presenter, The 75th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2003.

Hollywood Celebrates Denzel Washington: An American Cinematheque Tribute (also known as American Cinematheque Gala Tribute), American Movie Classics, 2003.

34th NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2003.

Presenter, ESPY Awards, ESPN, 2004.

Fourth Annual BET Awards, Black Entertainment Television (BET), 2004.

Moving Image Salutes Richard Gere, USA Network, 2004.

BET Awards 2005, Black Entertainment Television(BET), 2005.

Presenter, The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2006.

Presenter, Julia Roberts: An American Cinematheque Tribute, American Movie Classics, 2007.

Presenter, The 80th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2008.

The 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2008.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Narrator, "Anansi" (also known as "Anansi the Spider"), We All Have Tales (animated; also known as Rabbit Ears Productions, We All Have Tales: Anansi, and We All Have Tales: Anansi the Spider), Showtime, 1991.

Narrator, "John Henry," American Heroes and Legends (animated; also known as Rabbit Ears American Heroes and Legends and Rabbit Ears Productions), Showtime, 1992.

Narrator, "Liberators—Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II" (documentary), The American Experience, PBS, 1992.

(In archive footage) Joe Miller, "Quadriplegia, Nymphomania, and HIV–Positive Night," Joe Bob's Drive–In Theater, The Movie Channel, 1995.

Voice, "Rumpelstiltskin," Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (animated), HBO, 1995.

Himself, Film '96 (also known as Film 1996, Film of the Year, and The Film Programme), BBC, 1996.

Himself, "Tom Hanks: Hollywood's Golden Boy," Biography (also known as A&E Biography: Tom Hanks), Arts and Entertainment, 1997.

Voice of Humpty Dumpty, "Humpty Dumpty," Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (animated), HBO, 1997.

Himself, "Danny Glover," Celebrity Profile (also known as Celebrity Profile: Danny Glover and E! "Celebrity Profile: Danny Glover"), E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Himself, Mundo VIP, 1998.

Himself, "I'm Driving while Black" (also known as "I Am Driving while Black"), True Life (documentary series; also known as True Life: I Am Driving while Black and True Life: I'm Driving while Black), MTV, 1999.

Himself, "Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light," American Masters, PBS, 2000.

Himself, "Training Day: Crossing the Line," HBO First Look, HBO, 2001.

(In archive footage) Himself, "Denzel Washington," Headliners & Legends (also known as Headliners & Legends: Denzel Washington), MSNBC, 2002.

Himself, "25 Toughest Stars," Rank, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

Himself, "Antwone Fisher," HBO First Look, HBO, 2003.

Himself, "Best Sports Movies," ESPN 25: Who's # 1? (also known as ESPN25: Who's # 1?), ESPN, 2004.

Himself, "The Making of 'Man on Fire,'" HBO First Look, HBO, 2004.

Guest star, "Man on Fire; The Alamo; Johnson Family Vacation; The Girl next Door," Coming Attractions, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Guest star, "The Manchurian Candidate; Danny Deck-chair; Bad Santa; The Princess Diaries 2," Coming Attractions, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Guest star, "The Manchurian Candidate; The Stepford Wives; Dodgeball; The Bourne Supremacy," Coming Attractions, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Himself in video clip, Anderson Cooper 360, Cable News Network, 2004.

Himself, Film '04 (also known as Film 2004, Film of the Year, and The Film Programme), BBC, multiple episodes in 2004.

Himself, "Angelina Jolie," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as Angelina Jolie: The E! True Hollywood Story and THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2005.

(In archive footage) Himself, Cinema mil, Televisio de >Catalunya (TV3, Spain), 2005.

(In archive footage) Dr. Philip Chandler, Tvist, 2005.

(In archive footage) Stephen "Steve" Biko, 80s, 2005.

Himself, "Denzel Washington," What It Takes, 2006.

Himself, "Wetten, dass … ? aus Bremen," Wetten, dass … ?, 2006.

(In archive footage) Joe Miller, "Mother Tucker," Family Guy (animated; also known as Padre de familia and Padre del familia), Fox, 2006.

Himself, Corazon de … , Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), 2006.

Himself, "The Making of 'American Gangster,'" HBO First Look, HBO, 2007.

Appeared in other programs, including an appearance in Movie Rush, Channel 4 (England).

Television Guest Appearances; Episodic:

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1990.

Good Morning America (also known as GMA), ABC, 1992, 2005.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996, 2000.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, multiple appearances, beginning 2001.

Listen Up! Charles Barkley with Ernie Johnson (also known as Listen Up!), TNT, 2002.

Total Request Live (also known as Total Request with Carson Daly and TRL), MTV, 2002, 2004.

The View, ABC, 2002, 2004.

The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah),syndicated, 2002, 2006, 2007.

Kela on the Karpet, NYC TV, 2003.

Tinseltown TV (also known as Tinseltown. TV), International Channel, 2003.

Extra (also known as Extra: The Entertainment Magazine), syndicated, 2004.

On–Air with Ryan Seacrest, syndicated, 2004.

Parkinson, BBC, 2004.

Live with Regis & Kelly, syndicated, multiple appearances, beginning 2004.

Today (also known as NBC News Today and The Today Show), NBC, 2004, 2006.

Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show, Late Show Backstage, and Letterman),CBS, 2004, 2006, 2008.

Sunday Morning Shootout (also known as Hollywood Shootout and Shootout), American Movie Classics, 2004, 2007, 2008.

Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2004, 2008.

The Early Show, CBS, 2006.

Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (also known as Ellen and The Ellen DeGeneres Show), syndicated, 2006.

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, BBC, 2006.

Entertainment Tonight (also known as Entertainment This Week, E.T., ET Weekend, and This Week in Entertainment), syndicated, multiple appearances, beginning c. 2006.

The Charlie Rose Show (also known as Charlie Rose), PBS, 2007.

eTalk Daily (also known as e–Talk and e–Talk Daily), CTV (Canada), multiple appearances in 2007.

TV One on One, TV One, 2007.

Appeared in other programs, including as an appearance in On the Record with Bob Costas (also known as Costas Now), HBO.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Dr. Philip Chandler, St. Elsewhere, NBC, 1982.

Himself, Space Ghost Coast to Coast (live action and animated; also known as SGC2C), Cartoon Network, 1993.

Television Work; Specials:

Executive producer, Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream, TBS, 1995.

Producer, Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, HBO, 2000.

Worked on other projects.

Stage Appearances:

Title role, Othello, Fordham University, the Bronx, New York City, 1970.

The Emperor Jones, Fordham University, 1977.

Aedile, Roman citizen, Volscian citizen, and other roles, Coriolanus, New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp Public Theater, Delacorte Theater, New York City, 1979, film version also released, 1979.

Tommy Paul, One Tiger to a Hill, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, 1980.

Malcolm Shabazz (Malcolm X), When the Chickens >Came Home to Roost (double–bill with Zora), New Federal Theatre, Louis Abrons Arts for Living Center, New York City, 1981.

Private first class Melvin Peterson, A Soldier's Play, Negro Ensemble Company, Theatre Four, New York City, 1981–82, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1982–83, and Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1982–83.

Frank, Every Goodbye Ain't Gone, New Federal Theatre, Louis Abrons Arts for Living Center, 1984.

Sylvester Williams, Checkmates, Inner City Cultural Center, Los Angeles, 1987, Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles, 1987, and Forty–Sixth Street Theatre, New York City, 1988.

Richard (the duke of Gloucester, later the title role), Richard III, New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp Public Theater, Delacorte Theater, 1991.

Carousel (musical), Lincoln Center Theater, New York City, 1994.

Hymn (dance production), City Center Theatre, New York City, 1994.

Showdown at New Federal Theatre (benefit performance), New Federal Theatre, 2001.

Marcus Brutus, Julius Caesar, Belasco Theatre, New York City, 2005.

Appeared in Man and Superman and Moonchildren, both American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA. Appeared in other productions, including Becket, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, The Mighty Gents, Spell # 7, and Split Second.

Major Tours:

Sylvester Williams, Checkmates, U.S. cities, including Chicago, IL, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, and San Francisco, CA, c. 1987–88.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Himself, The Making of "Crimson Tide," Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 1995.

(In archive footage) Dud in "Step by Step,"Whitney Houston: The Greatest Hits, 2000.

Himself, Spotlight on Location: Hurricane, Universal Studios Home Video, 2001.

Himself, Behind the Scenes of "John Q," New Line Home Video, 2002.

(In archive footage) Himself, People Like Us: Making"Philadelphia," Columbia/TriStar Home Video, 2003.

Himself, Spike Lee's "25th Hour": The Evolution of an American Filmmaker, Touchstone Home Video, 2003.

Himself, Out of Time: Crime Scene, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer Home Entertainment, 2004.

Himself, Vengeance Is Mine: Reinventing "Man on Fire,"Twentieth Century–Fox Home Entertainment, 2005.

Himself, Fallen Empire: Making "American Gangster,"MCA/Universal Home Video, 2008.

Music Videos:

Whitney Houston, "Step by Step" (rough cut edit), 1996.

Whitney Houston, "Step by Step," 1997.

Music Video Director:

BeBe Winans, "In Harm's Way," 1997.

Audiobooks:

(Reader with others) The Bible Experience, Zondervan, 2007.

Albums; with Others:

John Henry, Rabbit Ears Productions, 1993.

Anansi (also known as Anansi the Spider), Rabbit Ears Productions, Madacy Records, c. 2000.

WRITINGS

Nonfiction:

(With Spike Lee and Ralph Wiley) By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X, Hyperion, 1992.

(With Daniel Paisner) A Hand to Guide Me—Inspiring, Intimate Stories: 70 Top Personalities Honor Their Mentors (also known as A Hand to Guide Me),Meredith, 2006.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Brode, Douglas, Denzel Washington: His Films and Career, Carol Publishing Group, 1997.

Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 16, Gale, 1997.

Hill, Anne E., Denzel Washington, Black Americans of Achievement series, Chelsea House Publications, 1999.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, fourth edition, St. James Press, 2000.

Nickson, Chris, Denzel Washington, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1996.

Parrish, James Robert, Today's Black Hollywood, Windsor Publishing–Pinnacle Books, 1995.

Simmons, Alex, Denzel Washington, Contemporary African Americans series, Steck–Vaughn, 1997.

Wooten, Sara McIntosh, Denzel Washington: Academy Award–Winning Actor, African–American Biographies series, Enslow Publishers, 2003.

Periodicals:

Biography, March, 2002, pp. 46–50, 102.

Ebony, April, 2000, p. 154; January, 2005, p. 95; November, 2006, p. 40.

Empire, issue 35, 1992, pp. 52–53; issue 89, 1996, pp. 80–82, 84.

Entertainment Weekly, July 19, 1996; February 22, 2002, p. 28; December 20, 2002, pp. 12–16; January 11, 2008, p. 58.

Essence, April, 2006, pp. 144–51; December, 2006,p. 83.

Family Circle, November 1, 2006, pp. 56–57.

Film Review, February, 2000, pp. 72–74.

Hollywood Reporter, February 1, 1988; March 5, 1997, pp. S1–12.

Jet, January 13, 1994, pp. 54, 56; November 27, 2006, pp. 54–57.

Movieline, October, 1995, p. 75.

Neon, May, 1998.

New York, August 13, 1990.

New York Times, December 26, 1987; October 25, 1992.

Parade, March 26, 2006, pp. 4–5; December 16, 2007,p. 5.

People Weekly, July 29, 1996, pp. 56, 59–60, 62, 64; May 8, 2000, p. 100; August 9, 2004, p. 71.

Premiere, August, 1990; October, 2002, p. 79.

Reader's Digest, December, 2002, pp. 80–85.

Rolling Stone, December 3, 1987; November 26, 1992.

TV Guide, September 8, 2002, p. 20; February 21, 2004, p. 36.

USA Weekend, January 9, 1998.

Vanity Fair, October, 1995, pp. 242–46, 299–301.

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Washington, Denzel 1954–

Denzel Washington 1954

Actor

At a Glance

Sources

Denzel Washington describes himself as that minority among minoritiesa working black actor. Indeed, in an era that offers few opportunities for black menespecially in feature filmsWashington has forged a solid career with a string of highly-regarded performances. Chicago Tribune correspondent Hilary de Vries wrote: From his smoldering Private Peterson in A Soldiers Story to the coolly understated Steve Biko in Cry Freedom to the defiant Civil War infantryman Trip in Glory, Washington creates morally complex characters shaded by wit, intelligence and barely concealed anger. The critic added that Washington is riding a series of cinematic successes that are not only buoying his own career but also helping shape the role of black Americans in Hollywood.

An actor blessed with good looks and a wide range of talent, Washington has chosen his roles with care. Washington Post contributor Donna Britt noted: Its ironic that this man whose race almost certainly has diminished his opportunities as an actor has used his career to explore his blackness. Washington admits that he has felt stifled by the role model and torch bearer tags by which critics identify him, but at the same time he is a dedicated artist seeking to make an impression. All I can do is play the part, he told the Washington Post. I cant do [a] part for 40 million black people, or orange or green. On the other hand Im not going to do anything to embarrass my people.

Denzel Washington was born late in 1954, the son of a Pentecostal minister and a gospel singer. He grew up right on the edge of the Bronx, in the middle class neighborhood of Mt. Vernon, New York. My father was down on the movies, and his idea of something worthwhile would be The King of Kings, The Ten Commandments and 101 Dalmatians, the actor told the Chicago Tribune. And I knew no actors. Its a wonder I ever went into acting. Washington was a good student as a youth, and he drew his friends from the melting pot of races that formed the Bronx. He described his childhood as a good background for somebody in my business. My friends were West Indians, blacks, Irish, Italians, so I learned a lot of different cultures.

When Washington was 14, his parents divorced. The subject is still sensitive for him, although he remains on cordial terms with both his mother and his father. I

At a Glance

Born December 28, 1954, in Mt. Vernon, NY; son of a pentecostal minister and a beautician; married Pauletta Pearson (an actress), c. 1983; children: four. Education: Fordham University, B.A., ca. 1981.

Career: Actor in motion pictures, stage plays, and television dramas, 1981-. Television appearances include: Flesh and Blood, St. Elsewhere (as Dr. Phillip Chandler), c. 1982-87; Licence To Kill, The George McKenna Story, and Wilma. Stage appearances include: A Soldiers Play, Richard III, Othello, The Emperor Jones, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, When the Chickens Come Home To Roost, Coriolanus, Spell #7, The Mighty Cents, and Checkmates. Film appearances include: Carbon Copy, A Soldiers Story, Cry Freedom, Power, The Mighty Quinn, For Queen and Country, Glory, Mo Better Blues, Heart Condition, Ricochet, Mississippi Masala, Malcolm X, Much Ado About Nothing, Philadelphia, The Pelican Brief, Crimson Tide, Virtuosity, Devil in a Blue Dress, Courage Under Fire, The Preachers Wife.

Selected awards: Obie Award for best performance in an Off-Broadway play, for A Soldiers Play; Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, 1989, for Cry Freedom; Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for best supporting actor, 1990, for Glory; Audel-co Award for When the Chickens Come Home to Roost; NY Film Critics Award, Academy Award Nomination for Malcolm X.

Addresses: c/o International Creative Management (I.C.M.), 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

guess it made me angry, he told the Washington Post. I went through a phase where I got into a lot of fights. Working it out, you know. A guidance counselor at his high school suggested that Washington apply to a private boarding school (very rich and very white) in upstate New York. He did, and to his astonishment was accepted with a full scholarship. After graduating from that academy, he attended Fordham University in the Bronx, where he declared a pre-med major. In retrospect, Washington attributes his strong showing as a youngster to his mothers influence. She was very, very tough, a tough disciplinarian, he told the Washington Post. Even when I was 15 or 16,1 had to be home by the time the street lights went on. She saw to it I was exposed to a lot of things. She couldnt afford it, but she was very intelligent. She is basically responsible for my success.

A longstanding membership in the YMCA also contributed to Washingtons career choice. In college he drifted through several majors, including biology and journalism, and took an acting workshop but underwent no great revelation. During the summer recess, however, he served as a counselor at a YMCA-sponsored camp. I had grown up in the organization and had worked as a leader, he told the Chicago Tribune. I organized a talent show, and someone told me, You seem real natural on the stage; did you ever think of becoming an actor? Bing! Thats all it took. When he returned to Fordham in the fall, he auditioned for the universitys production of Eugene ONeills The Emperor Jones, and won the part over a number of theater majors. He went on to star in several more dramas at Fordham, including Shakespeares Othello.

Robinson Stone, a retired actor, was Washingtons drama instructor at Fordham. Remembering his gifted student, Stone told the Chicago Tribune: Oh, God, he was thrilling even then. Denzel was from the Bronx campusnot even a theater majorand he got the lead in the school production of Othello. He was easily the best Othello I had ever seen, and I had seen Paul Robeson play it. I remember Jose Ferrer came to look at it. He and I agreed that Denzel had a brilliant career ahead of him. He played Othello with so much majesty and beauty but also rage and hate that I dragged agents to come and see it.

The agents too were impressed. Even before Washington graduated from Fordham he was offered a small role in a television drama, Wilma, based on the life of runner Wilma Rudolph. After he earned his degree, Washington embarked on a hectic round of professional activities, including theater work, television, and films. Early in his career he appeared opposite George Segal in Carbon Copy, a comic movie, and he also took a role in the television mini-series Flesh and Blood. These parts introduced Washington to the Hollywood production companies, and he was cast as doctor Phillip Chandler in the television drama St. Elsewhere. Although he was not nearly as demanding about his St. Elsewhere character as he has since become, Washington was nevertheless able to infuse the role with non-stereotyped humanity. Washington Post writer Megan Rosenfeld concluded that the actors five-year association with St. Elsewhere gained him the kind of popular recognition that is both the boon and the curse of serious actors. Chandler is an intelligent and ambitious young man, portrayed not as a black paragon, but as a human being with all the flaws and problems of anyone else.

It was a stage role that assured Washingtons success, however. Early in the 1980s he was cast in the pivotal role of Private Peterson in the drama A Soldiers Play. The part won Washington an Obie Award for his Off-Broadway performance, and he was invited to work as Peterson in the film version of the play. Washington took a break from St. Elsewhere to undertake the film role, and he was quite pleased when A Soldiers Story earned the respect of film critics worldwide. In A Soldiers Story, Washington turned in a memorable performance as the young private goaded to murder by an abusive drill sergeant. After viewing A Soldiers Story, Chicago Tribune correspondent Bob Thomas called Washington one of the most versatile of the new acting generation.

The Hollywood establishment recognized that Denzel Washington possessed a near phenomenal potential. He was at once handsome, articulate, and dignified, and he appeared to be at ease in both comic and dramatic situations. Inevitably (and unfortunately), his race still restricted the number and size of roles he was offered. Even after he appeared in the Oscar-nominated role of activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom, he was still not considered a high-visibility star. As late as 1989 the actor told the Washington Post that he often found himself waiting for an opportunity to come [my] way but realizing theres no group of people like [me] who are successful, who can give you the faith to say, Well, if I wait, it will come. So you end up taking [roles]... that are not necessarily the best, that arent optimum.

One of the roles Washington did not consider optimum was that of the runaway slave Trip in the film Glory. The original script for Glory concentrated on the Civil War general, Robert Gould Shaw, who led the first black regiment into battle and died with them in an unsuccessful assault. At Washingtons suggestion, the screenplay for Glory was significantly revised in order to explore the concerns of the black foot soldiers. Satisfied with the revisions, Washington accepted the part of Trip. He studied histories of the Civil War and of slavery in the South, learning enough to assure that both he and his character would be in a fit of controlled rage. When we were making Glory, he told the Chicago Tribune, people kept asking me, Why are you so angry? I havent been through anything like [slavery and soldiering], but Ive read about it. Ive studied the history, and thats enough to make you angry. How can I be 35 and never been taught about black soldiers being a part of the Civil War. Thats something to ask: How can that happen?

Washingtons performance in Glory earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1990. It was his second nomination, but more importantly, it was only the fifth Oscar ever won by a black actor. Since he won the prestigious award, Washington has finally been able to secure leading-man roles in dramas, such as Malcolm X, Mo Better Blues, Philadelphia, and The Pelican Brief and in comedies such as Heart Condition. Detroit Free Press movie critic Kathy Huffhines observed that Washington has the knifes-edge intensity that makes quick, deep impressions. Usually, actors begin with comic, romantic or action roles, then move toward seriousness. Washington is taking that trip in reverse, keeping serious roles while trying to move toward romance, action and comedy.

Washington has definitely made his mark on Hollywood. Commanding a hefty $10 million per film salary. Denzel is magnetic, hes a great actor, and women love him, Spike Lee told the Detroit Free Press. Women love them some Denzel. But wife Pauletta isnt worried about anybody taking her husband. Yes women come on to my husband, she said in Essence Its a natural thing for a woman to see a man in Denzels position and want him. But its also ridiculous because they dont know him. They know a character, an image, a movie star that theyve made bigger than life. So it would be senseless for me to get upset when women flirt with my husband. I take it as a compliment, because I know hes with me. she added.

Washington is not particularly forthcoming about his private life, but his family is very important to him. In his rare moments of leisure he stays home, avoiding the celebrated Hollywood party circuit. In the Washington Post, the actor called his wife and four children the base that keeps me solid. He added: Acting is just a way of making a living. Family is life. When you experience a child, you know thats life. The actor is careful to keep a humble perspective on the praise he has received, and he completely refuses to consider himself sexy despite persistent claims in the press. Acting, he said, is a way for him to explore the spiritual self, irrespective of race or creed. I enjoy acting, he told the Washington Post This is when I feel most natural. This is really my world. I was obviously destined to get into this, and I guess I have the equipment to do it.

Sources

Boston Globe, February 1, 1990.

Chicago Tribune, March 15, 1986; December 30, 1987; August 5, 1990.

Detroit Free Press, July 29, 1990.

Entertainment Weekly, July 19, 1996.

Essence, December, 1996.

International Motion Picture Almanac, 1997.

Washington Post, September 18, 1985; August 25, 1989.

Mark Kram

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Washington, Denzel 1954—

Denzel Washington 1954

Actor

At a Glance

Decided on Acting Career

Cast in Televisions St. Elsewhere Series

Insisted That the Script for Glory be Revised

Sources

Denzel Washington describes himself as that minority among minoritiesa working black actor. Indeed, in an era that offers few opportunities for black menespecially in feature films Washington has forged a solid career with a string of highly-regarded performances. Chicago Tribune correspondent Hilary de Vries wrote: From his smoldering Private Peterson in A Soldiers Story to the coolly understated Steve Biko in Cry Freedom to the defiant Civil War infantryman Trip in Glory, Washington creates morally complex characters shaded by wit, intelligence and barely concealed anger. The critic added that Washington is riding a series of cinematic successes that are not only buoying his own career but also helping shape the role of black Americans in Hollywood.

An actor blessed with good looks and a wide range of talent, Washington has chosen his roles with care. Washington Post contributor Donna Britt noted: Its ironic that this man whose race almost certainly has diminished his opportunities as an actor has used his career to explore his blackness. Washington admits that he has felt stifled by the role model and torch bearer tags by which critics identify him, but at the same time he is a dedicated artist seeking to make an impression. All I can do is play the part, he told the Washington Post. I cant do [a] part for 40 million black people, or orange or green. On the other hand Im not going to do anything to embarrass my people.

Denzel Washington was born late in 1954, the son of a Pentecostal minister and a gospel singer. He grew up right on the edge of the Bronx, in the middle class neighborhood of Mt. Vernon, New York. My father was down on the movies, and his idea of something worthwhile would be The King of Kings, The Ten Commandments and 101 Dalmatians, the actor told the Chicago Tribune. And I knew no actors. Its a wonder I ever went into acting. Washington was a good student as a youth, and he drew his friends from the melting pot of races that formed the Bronx. He described his childhood as a good background for somebody in my business. My friends were West Indians, blacks, Irish, Italians, so I learned a lot of different cultures.

When Washington was 14, his parents divorced. The subject is still sensitive for him, although he remains on cordial terms with both his mother and his father. I

At a Glance

Born December, 1954, in Mt. Vernon, NY; son of a pentecostal minister and a beautician; married Pauletta Pearson (an actress), c. 1983; children: John David, Katia. Education: Fordham University, B.A., ca. 1981.

Actor in motion pictures, stage plays, and television dramas, 1981. Selected television appearances include Flesh and Blood, St. Elsewhere (as Dr. Phillip Chandler), c. 1982-87; Licence To Kill, and Wilma. Selected stage appearances include A Soldiers Play, Richard III, Othello, The Emperor Jones, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, and When the Chickens Come Home To Roost. Selected film appearances include Carbon Copy, A Soldiers Story, Cry Freedom, Power, The Mighty Quinn, For Queen and Country, Glory, Mo Better Blues, and Heart Condition.

Awards: Obie Award for best performance in an Off-Broadway play, for A Soldiers Play. Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, 1989, for Cry Freedom; Academy Award for best supporting actor, 1990, for Glory.

guess it made me angry, he told the Washington Post. I went through a phase where I got into a lot of fights. Working it out, you know. A guidance counselor at his high school suggested that Washington apply to a private boarding school (very rich and very white) in upstate New York. He did, and to his astonishment was accepted with a full scholarship. After graduating from that academy, he attended Fordham University in the Bronx, where he declared a pre-med major. In retrospect, Washington attributes his strong showing as a youngster to his mothers influence. She was very, very tough, a tough disciplinarian, he told the Washington Post Even when I was 15 or 16, I had to be home by the time the street lights went on. She saw to it I was exposed to a lot of things. She couldnt afford it, but she was very intelligent. She is basically responsible for my success.

Decided on Acting Career

A longstanding membership in the YMCA also contributed to Washingtons career choice. In college he drifted through several majors, including biology and journalism, and took an acting workshop but underwent no great revelation. During the summer recess, however, he served as a counselor at a YMCA-sponsored camp. I had grown up in the organization and had worked as a leader, he told the Chicago Tribune. I organized a talent show, and someone told me, You seem real natural on the stage; did you ever think of becoming an actor? Bing! Thats all it took. When he returned to Fordham in the fall, he auditioned for the universitys production of Eugene ONeills The Emperor Jones, and won the part over a number of theater majors. He went on to star in several more dramas at Fordham, including Shakespeares Othello.

Robinson Stone, a retired actor, was Washingtons drama instructor at Fordham. Remembering his gifted student, Stone told the Chicago Tribune: Oh, God, he was thrilling even then. Denzel was from the Bronx campus not even a theater majorand he got the lead in the school production of Othello. He was easily the best Othello I had ever seen, and I had seen Paul Robeson play it. I remember Jose Ferrer came to look at it. He and I agreed that Denzel had a brilliant career ahead of him. He played Othello with so much majesty and beauty but also rage and hate that I dragged agents to come and see it.

Cast in Televisions St. Elsewhere Series

The agents too were impressed. Even before Washington graduated from Fordham he was offered a small role in a television drama, Wilma, based on the life of runner Wilma Rudolph. After he earned his degree, Washington embarked on a hectic round of professional activities, including theater work, television, and films. Early in his career he appeared opposite George Segal in Carbon Copy, a comic movie, and he also took a role in the television mini-series Flesh and Blood. These parts introduced Washington to the Hollywood production companies, and he was cast as doctor Phillip Chandler in the television drama St. Elsewhere. Although he was not nearly as demanding about his St. Elsewhere character as he has since become, Washington was nevertheless able to infuse the role with non-stereotyped humanity. Washington Post writer Megan Rosenfeld concluded that the actors five-year association with St. Elsewhere gained him the kind of popular recognition that is both the boon and the curse of serious actors. Chandler is an intelligent and ambitious young man, portrayed not as a black paragon, but as a human being with all the flaws and problems of anyone else.

It was a stage role that assured Washingtons success, however. Early in the 1980s he was cast in the pivotal role of Private Peterson in the drama A Soldiers Play.

The part won Washington an Obie Award for his Off-Broadway performance, and he was invited to work as Peterson in the film version of the play. Washington took a break from St. Elsewhere to undertake the film role, and he was quite pleased when A Soldiers Story, Washington turned in a memorable performance as the young private goaded to murder by an abusive drill sergeant. After viewing A Soldiers Story, Chicago Tribune correspondent Bob Thomas called Washington one of the most versatile of the new acting generation.

The Hollywood establishment recognized that Denzel Washington possessed a near phenomenal potential. He was at once handsome, articulate, and dignified, and he appeared to be at ease in both comic and dramatic situations. Inevitably (and unfortunately), his race still restricted the number and size of roles he was offered. Even after he appeared in the Oscar-nominated role of activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom, he was still not considered a high-visibility star. As late as 1989 the actor told the Washington Post that he often found himself waiting for an opportunity to come [my] way but realizing theres no group of people like [me] who are successful, who can give you the faith to say, Well, if I wait, it will come. So you end up taking [roles] that are not necessarily the best, that arent optimum.

Insisted That the Script for Glory be Revised

One of the roles Washington did not consider optimum was that of the runaway slave Trip in the film Glory. The original script for Glory concentrated on the Civil War general, Robert Gould Shaw, who led the first black regiment into battle and died with them in an unsuccessful assault. At Washingtons suggestion, the screenplay for Glory was significantly revised in order to explore the concerns of the black foot soldiers. Satisfied with the revisions, Washington accepted the part of Trip. He studied histories of the Civil War and of slavery in the South, learning enough to assure that both he and his character would be in a fit of controlled rage. When we were making Glory, he told the Chicago Tribune, people kept asking me, Why are you so angry? I havent been through anything like [slavery and soldiering], but Ive read about it. Ive studied the history, and thats enough to make you angry. How can I be 35 and never been taught about black soldiers being a part of the Civil War. Thats something to ask: How can that happen?

Washingtons performance in Glory earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1990. It was his second nomination, but more importantly, it was only the fifth Oscar ever won by a black actor. Since he won the prestigious award, Washington has finally been able to secure leading-man roles, both in dramas such as For Queen and Country and Spike Lees Mo Better Blues and in comedies such as Heart Condition. The actor is also planning to star in a major film about the slain activist Malcolm X. Detroit Free Press movie critic Kathy Huffhines observed that Washington has the knifes-edge intensity that makes quick, deep impressions. Usually, actors begin with comic, romantic or action roles, then move toward seriousness. Washington is taking that trip in reverse, keeping serious roles while trying to move toward romance, action and comedy.

The question remains: is Hollywood ready for a romantic leading man who happens to be black? Like Sidney Poitierto whom he is often comparedWashington may find that producers shy away from offering him certain romantic roles. His work in love stories to date is sparse, consisting mainly of Mo Better Blues, but as a dynamic and riveting actor he should win more such work. If he does, he may indeed become a ground-breaking star who could pave the way for black opportunity in Hollywood. Denzel is magnetic, hes a great actor, and women love him, Spike Lee told the Detroit Free Press. Women love them some Denzel.

Washington is not particularly forthcoming about his private life, but his family is very important to him. In his rare moments of leisure he stays home, avoiding the celebrated Hollywood party circuit. In the Washington Post, the actor called his wife and two children the base that keeps me solid. He added: Acting is just a way of making a living. Family is life. When you experience a child, you know thats life. The actor is careful to keep a humble perspective on the praise he has received, and he completely refuses to consider himself sexy despite persistent claims in the press. Acting, he said, is a way for him to explore the spiritual self, irrespective of race or creed. I enjoy acting, he told the Washington Post. This is when I feel most natural. This is really my world. I was obviously destined to get into this, and I guess I have the equipment to do it.

Sources

Boston Globe, February 1, 1990.

Chicago Tribune, March 15, 1986; December 30, 1987; August 5, 1990.

Detroit Free Press, July 29, 1990.

Washington Post, September 18, 1985; August 25, 1989.

Mark Kram

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Washington, Denzel

WASHINGTON, Denzel


Nationality: American. Born: Mount Vernon, New York, 28 December 1954. Education: Graduated from Fordham University with degrees in drama and journalism; studied one year at the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco. Family: Married the actress and singer Pauletta Pearson, 1982; four children. Career: Performed with the New York Shakespeare Festival and the American Place Theater; 1981—off-Broadway in A Soldier's Play and as Malcolm X in When the Chickens Come Home to Roost; theatrical film debut in Carbon Copy; 1982–88—as Dr. Phillip Chandler in TV series St. Elsewhere; 1988—on Broadway in Checkmates; has own production company Mundy Lane Entertainment. Awards: Obie Award, for A Soldier's Play, 1982; Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe, for Glory, 1989; Harvard Foundation Award, 1996. Address: PMK Public Relations, 955 South Carillo Drive, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90048, U.S.A. Agent: ICM, 8942 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90211, U.S.A.


Films as Actor:

1977

Wilma (Greenspan—for TV)

1979

Flesh & Blood (Jud Taylor—for TV)

1981

Carbon Copy (Schultz) (as Roger Porter)

1984

A Soldier's Story (Jewison) (as Pfc. Melvin Peterson); License to Kill (Jud Taylor—for TV) (as Martin Sawyer)

1986

Power (Lumet) (as Arnold Billings); The George Mckenna Story (Laneuville—for TV) (title role)

1987

Cry Freedom (Attenborough) (as Stephen Biko)

1988

Reunion (short)

1989

For Queen and Country (Stellman) (as Reuben James); Glory (Zwick) (as Trip); The Mighty Quinn (Schenkel) (as Xavier Quinn)

1990

Heart Condition (Parriott) (as Napoleon Stone); Mo' Better Blues (Spike Lee) (as Bleek Gilliam)

1991

Ricochet (Mulcahy) (as Nick Styles)

1992

Malcolm X (Spike Lee) (title role); Mississippi Masala (Nair) (as Demetrius)

1993

Much Ado about Nothing (Branagh) (as Don Pedro); The Pelican Brief (Pakula) (as Gray Grantham); Philadelphia (Jonathan Demme) (as Joe Miller)

1995

Virtuosity (Brett Leonard) (as Parker Barnes); Devil in a Blue Dress (Carl Franklin) (as Easy Rawlins); Crimson Tide (Tony Scott) (as Lt. Cmdr. Hunter)

1996

Courage under Fire (Zwick) (as Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling); The Preacher's Wife (Penny Marshall) (as Dudley)

1998

Fallen (Hoblit) (as John Hobbes); He Got Game (Lee) (as Jake Shuttlesworth); The Siege (Zwick) (as Anthony "Hub" Hubbard)

1999

The Bone Collector (Noyce) (as Lincoln Rhyme); The Hurricane (Jewison) (as Rubin "Hurricane" Carter)

2000

Remembering the Titans (Yakin) (as Coach Boone)



Films as Director:

1999

Finding Fish



Publications


By WASHINGTON: articles—

Interview with Veronica Webb, and photographer Herb Ritts, in Interview (New York), July 1990.

"Denzel on Malcolm," interview with Joe Wood, in Rolling Stone (New York), 26 November 1992.

"Brothers," interview with Brendan Lemon, in Interview (New York), December 1993.

"A League of His Own," interview with Lloyd Grove, in Vanity Fair (New York), October 1995.


On WASHINGTON: books—

Nickson, Chris, Denzel Washington, New York, 1996.

Brode, Douglas, Denzel Washington: His Films and Career, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1996.


On WASHINGTON: articles—

Current Biography 1992, New York, 1992.

Clark, John, filmography in Premiere (Boulder), November 1992.

Norment, Lynn, "Denzel Washington Opens Up about Stardom, Family and Sex Appeal," in Ebony (Chicago), October 1995.

Farley, C.J., "Pride of Place," in Time, 2 October 1995.

Rebello, S. and others, "Who's the Best Actor in Hollywood?" in Movieline (Escondido), October 1996.


* * *

Denzel Washington has insisted in interviews that he wants to be thought of as an actor, not a black actor. In one sense (which is presumably the sense he intends) this is perfectly understandable: as a star he has everything going for him, he is a gifted and intelligent actor, he has a very strong screen presence, and he is one of the handsomest men in contemporary cinema. This eminence as an actor requires no qualification. In another sense, however, in a less than ideal world still riddled with racism, it is inevitable that his blackness would be an important signifying presence in every film in which he appears.

Consider, for example, one of his less interesting films, Crimson Tide. Take away his blackness and we are left with a perfectly banal, oft-repeated plot formula: intelligent and pragmatic subordinate clashes with his older, die-hard, commanding officer, who does everything by the book and according to the rules, even risking precipitating World War III and universal nuclear devastation. The sole source of dramatic tension is that here a black subordinate defies a white commanding officer—this despite the fact that there is no explicit allusion to Washington's color. Or take the case of another, even less interesting, film, The Pelican Brief. With a white actor as a leading man, we might find it a refreshing change that hero and heroine do not end up as a couple. With Washington in the lead, their failure to unite in a love relationship must inevitably be attributed to issues of race and the still not uncommon fear of miscegenation, ridiculous, in this day and age, to be sure, but still apparently a matter of box-office concern to conservative and unimaginative producers.

Washington's presence alone illuminates these films, which give him little to do except go through the paces of a conventionally conceived and written "hero" role. The films in which Washington gives his strongest performances—which also happen to be the best in which he has appeared—all foreground in one way or another the issue of race: Malcolm X, obviously, but also Mississippi Masala, Philadelphia, and Devil in a Blue Dress. Though ultimately unsatisfying (it degenerates into contrivance and predictability), Mississippi Masala is one of the very few Hollywood films to deal in a completely frank, open, and detailed way with an interracial love relationship—though rendered "safe" for white audiences by dramatizing a relationship between an African-American and an Indian woman. Although the action is contained within only a brief time period, we watch Washington mature in the course of the film. At that time (1992) he could still look boyish, exuding an innocent charm, and the scene in the Leopard Lounge when he first dances with Mina (Sarita Choudhury) exhibits his ability to portray subtle shifts of feeling. Using Mina first merely to arouse the jealousy of an old flame who, having "made it big," has treated him with condescension, he experiences a growing attraction to her, until the old flame is forgotten. A delightful chemistry develops between Washington and Choudhury, and the crucial scene by a lake when they first kiss is played by both with marvelous delicacy. Then, when the relationship is threatened and seemingly destroyed by racial tensions, Washington visibly sheds the boyishness, seeming to age into full manhood before our eyes.

This ability not merely to delineate but to develop a character is perhaps at its most striking in Malcolm X: Washington convincingly shows us Malcolm's growth from irresponsibility to complete emotional and political maturity. If the film as a whole is somewhat disappointingly conventional—Spike Lee allows himself to slip too easily into the conventions and manner of the worthy but finally unexciting biopic—this is no fault of Washington's: he carries the film securely, and is largely responsible for its limited distinction.

Washington's two finest films are, arguably, Philadelphia and Devil in a Blue Dress. The relative commercial failure of the latter is a great disappointment: it deserved large audiences, and the studio was apparently planning to follow it with a series of adaptations of the splendid "Easy Rawlins" novels of Walter Mosley, a series which now may never materialize. The film is directed with great intelligence by Carl Franklin, and Washington's performance as an unusually fallible and vulnerable involuntary "private eye" (we are worlds removed here from Philip Marlowe) is a marvel of integrity and insight.

Tom Hanks got most of the attention (and the Best Actor Oscar) for Philadelphia—understandably, as his character, a gay man dying of AIDS, is the more showy—but Washington's performance equals his in intelligence and subtlety. Again, Washington traces with surety the character's emotional and psychological development. Initially hostile to the idea of taking on a gay client, a prey to a casual and unthinking homophobia, he comes to understand the parallels between racial prejudice and antigay prejudice, systematically casting off his homophobia intellectually (if never entirely on the emotional level). We see him, in fact, learning from the Tom Hanks character, whom he originally rejected: learning especially, in the famous "Maria Callas" scene, the value of the individual life, the essential human creativity expressed in the striving to live, not merely exist or survive.

Since the collapse of the studio system, the situation and stability of the star have been notoriously precarious. Denzel Washington is the only black star so far to achieve so great a preeminence, and to sustain it over more than a decade. One can read his recent career in terms of strategies of security, a traversal of the currently fashionable generic cycles: the "Devil" movie (Fallen), the "Angel" movie (The Preacher's Wife), the serial killer movie (The Bone Collector), the "Plea for Justice" movie (The Hurricane). Fallen is intriguing for its first half, a considerable letdown when the issues become clear. The Preacher's Wife, a remake of The Bishop's Wife with Washington in the Cary Grant role, owes most of its ideas to It's a Wonderful Life and The Bells of St. Mary's, whilst carefully avoiding the inner tensions that give those films their continuing interest; it proves mainly that frivolous romantic comedy is not his forte. The Bone Collector (out of Seven, by Silence of the Lambs) is better than its derivative nature suggests, but mainly because of Angelina Jolie. The Hurricane gives Washington a role that displays his strengths, his intensity, his virtuosity, within the simplistic and self-righteous setting of a Norman Jewison "social protest" movie. None of these films extends him significantly.

His return to collaboration with Spike Lee gives him his one chance to shine within a film of real distinction, and he makes the most of it. He Got Game had a disappointing critical reception (everyone seems to expect Lee to remake Do the Right Thing every time he shoots a film). Its insights into the importance of sport, as one of the few areas in which American blacks have been permitted to find success, dignity, and self-respect, are cogently and movingly presented, with Washington (almost unrecognizable in beard and Afro) at his finest in an emotionally demanding role. The complex fatherson relationship is handled with great sensitivity and intelligence by director and star.

—Robin Wood

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Washington, Denzel

Washington, Denzel (1954– ) US film actor. His first major film role was as Steve Biko, in the anti-apartheid film Cry Freedom (1987). Spike Lee chose him to play the leads in Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Malcolm X (1992). Other credits include Philadelphia (1993), and Devil in a Blue Dress (1995). He won the best actor Academy Award for Training Day (2001).

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"Washington, Denzel." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Washington, Denzel." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/washington-denzel