Not everyone knows these seven facts
US star Denzel Washington is celebrating his 65th birthday. Seven lesser known facts about the two-time Oscar winner.
“Training Day”, “Malcolm X”, “The Equalizer”, “Safe House” … the list of unforgettable Hollywood blockbusters starring Denzel Washington seems endless. The US actor, who grew up in Mount Vernon, just a stone’s throw from New York City, will celebrate his 65th birthday on Saturday (December 28). Reason enough to introduce some facts about the two-time Oscar winner that not everyone should know.
Degree in journalism
As a student, Denzel Washington wasn’t sure which subject to specialize in. Therefore, he initially took various courses. In 1977 he graduated from Fordham University in the New York Bronx with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on acting and journalism. A job as creative director at a summer camp in Lakeville, Connecticut, however, sparked his true passion. He took part in a talent show hosted by the staff – and was promptly advised by colleagues to become an actor.
A Shakespeare fan
After he recognized his passion in summer camp, Washington began to study acting – and immediately got the lead role in William Shakespeare’s “Othello”. From then on, the now 65-year-old could be seen again and again in plays by the English playwright on stage and in the cinema. In 1990 he played “Richard III” in the Public Theater in New York, five years later he was in the cinema adaptation of the comedy “Much Ado About Nothing”. He is currently preparing for his leading role as Lord MacBeth in the screen version of the Shakespeare classic directed by director and writer Joel Coen (65, “True Grit”).
He almost became a pastor
“A part of me still says: ‘Maybe, Denzel, you should preach. Maybe you still compromise,'” the “Philadelphia” actor revealed in an interview with the magazine “Parade” in 1999. As the son of an ordained Pentecostal priest, Washington seemed earnestly considering following in his father’s professional footsteps. Acting gives him the opportunity to embody great characters and preach through their words, the believing Christian continues. In 1995 he donated $ 2.5 million to build a church in Los Angeles.
In terms of Oscar, he succeeds Sidney Poitier
Denzel Washington celebrated one of his greatest successes almost exactly thirty years ago. In 1990 he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Glory”. The second golden boy followed in 2002, this time in the “Best Actor” category for “Training Day”. The special thing about his second triumph: The then 47-year-old won the Academy Award only as the second African American in the most important actor category. Before him, Sidney Poitier (92) received the trophy in 1964 for his performance in “Lilien auf dem Felde”.
Married to the same woman for 36 years
In Hollywood, long-term marriages free of scandals are rare. The “Flight” actor has had one for 36 years. In June 1983 he married his great love Pauletta (69), whom he met on the set of his first television film “Wilma” (1975). The two have four children together and had their vows renewed in 1995 in South Africa by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (88). Last June, Washington spoke to “Entertainment Tonight” about his great love and described his wife as the “greatest success” of his life.
Successful Hollywood offspring
It’s not uncommon for Hollywood star children to follow in the footsteps of their famous parents. Denzel and Pauletta Washington’s eldest son John David (35) has only been doing this recently, but very successfully. He has been a professional actor since 2017 and has already received nominations for the Screen Actor’s Guild Award and the Golden Globe – for his leading role as Detective Ron Stallworth in director Spike Lee’s (62) film “BlacKkKlansman” from last year. Previously, like his father, he played football in the American college league and aspired to a career as a professional.
A school in New York bears his name
Since 1993 the star has been active as a national spokesperson for the “Boys & Girls Clubs of America”, which offer afternoon programs for children and young people. He has even been a member of the board since 1995. Washington, who grew up near the New York borough of the Bronx, used to take advantage of the childcare offers himself and owe them a lot. Some of his childhood friends later ended up in prison, but he had club mentors who took good care of him, Washington reported to Essence magazine in February 2018 New York Bronx today got its name.