Denzel Washington Image Credit: ShutterStock

Did You Know Denzel Washington Was Born on This Day?

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This Day In History: December 28th

From starring roles in hit films such as Malcolm X and Training Day, famed actor Denzel Washington has been captivating audiences on screen for more than three decades. The award-winning actor was born on December 28, 1954, in Mount Vernon, New York.

Washington began exploring his passion for acting around the age of seven when he appeared in a talent show at his local Boys & Girls Club. He attended Fordham University and graduated in 1977 with a B.A. in Drama and Journalism. Post-graduation, Washington worked with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco after winning a scholarship and the Shakespeare in the Park ensemble.

In 1981, Washington made his feature film debut in the comedy Carbon Copy. He also made appearances in stage plays and productions before securing a role in a television medical drama. Washington managed to win his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor with his performance in the film Glory. 

The popularity surrounding the actor began to rise and worked with famed director Spike Lee, in films such as Mo’ Better Blues and the biopic Malcolm X. His role as civil rights activist Malcolm earned him an Oscar nomination. However, he was awarded his second Oscar for Leading Actor based on his performance in the 2001 thriller Training Day.

The next year, Washington expanded his skills behind the camera when he directed and co-starred in the biographical drama Antwone Fisher. He returned behind the camera a second time when he directed and starred in The Great Debaters, which profiled a winning African American debate team. In 2010, he went back to Broadway for a revival of August Wilson’s classic drama, Fences, for which he was awarded a Tony for. In 2016, Washington directed and starred in the film adaptation of the play, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actor.

Denzel Washington has enjoyed a career of longevity and success. The actor continues to make appearances on the big screen and on Broadway. Since his first film debut in 1981, Washington has passed the torch to his oldest son, who decided to follow in his father’s example and pursue a career in acting. 

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