Born: 28 December 1954
Birthplace: Mt. Vernon, New York
Best known as: Star of Malcolm X and Training Day
Denzel Washington won an Oscar as best actor for his role as a rogue cop in the 2001 film Training Day. It was his second Academy Award; he also won in 1989 as best supporting actor for the Civil War film Glory. Washington got his early break on TV, playing Dr. Phillip Chandler in the television drama St. Elsewhere (1982-88). He received critical praise for his role in the movie A Soldier's Story (1984), and was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar for Cry Freedom (1987). Washington worked steadily throughout the 1990s in big-budget thrillers, comedies and dramas, including Philadelphia (1993, with Tom Hanks), Crimson Tide (1995, opposite Gene Hackman) and The Preacher's Wife (1996, with Whitney Houston). His portrayal of boxer Ruben Carter earned him another Oscar nomination for the movie The Hurricane (1999). A solid leading man, Washington has appeared in dozens of films, including Antwone Fisher (2002), The Manchurian Candidate (2004, co-starring Meryl Streep), Spike Lee's Inside Man (2006), Ridley Scott's American Gangster (2007) and The Book of Eli (2010). His performance in 2012's Flight earned him another Oscar nomination for best actor.
Washington was the first African-American to win a best actor Oscar since Sidney Poitier in 1963… 2002 was the first year that African-Americans won both the best actor and best actress Oscars; Washington won for Training Day and Halle Berry won for her role in Monster’s Ball… Washington has collaborated several times with director Spike Lee; their films together include Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Malcolm X (1992, based on the life of civil rights leader Malcolm X) and He Got Game (1998)… His son, John David “J.D.” Washington, was a football star at Morehouse College and plays for NFL Europa’s Hamburg Sea Devils.
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