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Denzel Washington

Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is a renowned Hollywood actor and producer, known for his powerfully portrayed performances in film and television.  Washington was born on December 28, 1954 near New York City. His father, Reverend Denzel Hayes Washington Sr. was a minister, and his mother Lennis owned a beauty parlor. At the age of 6, he joined the local Boys & Girls Club of America in Mount Vernon, New York where he first performed on stage. It was this club that kept him occupied and out of trouble. His parents divorced when he was 14 years old, and Washington and his sister were sent to boarding school in New Windsor, New York. He attended Fordham University where he played basketball and studied drama and journalism. He dropped out of college for a semester to figure out his career choices, and after working as a creative arts director at a summer camp in Connecticut, decided that he wanted to pursue acting.

After graduating, Washington enrolled at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and landed his first role in the TV movie “Wilma” where he also met his future wife Pauletta Pearson.  He then starred in the comedy film “Carbon Copy” and received recognition for his role in the play “A Soldier’s Play”. His first major leading role was as Dr. Phillip Chandler in the TV drama “St. Elsewhere” which aired on NBC for 6 years. His other TV, film and stage roles during this time include “A Soldier’s Story”, “Hard Lessons”, “Power” and “For Queen and Country”. Washington earned his first Oscar nomination for the film “Cry Freedom” in 1987, and just two years later, he received the Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film “Glory”.

During the 1990s, Denzel Washington did several blockbuster films, of which the most critically acclaimed was “Malcolm X” in which he teamed up with director Spike Lee. Washington’s portrayal of Malcolm X was moving and believable and earned him another Oscar nomination. In a decision that surprised many critics and fans, Washington did not win the award. This

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