Denzel Washington


Washington started his acting career in theatre, acting in performances off-Broadway, including William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus in 1979. He first came to prominence in the medical drama St. Elsewhere (1982–1988). Throughout the 1990s, he established himself as a leading man in such varied films as Spike Lee’s biographical film epic Malcolm X (1992), Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Alan J. Pakula’s legal thriller The Pelican Brief (1993), Jonathan Demme’s drama Philadelphia (1993), and Norman Jewison’s legal drama The Hurricane (1999). Washington won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001). Washington has continued acting in lots of roles, such as football coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans (2000), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson in The Great Debaters (2007), drug kingpin Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007) and an airline pilot with an addiction in Flight (2012).
He won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in the Broadway revival of the August Wilson play Fences in 2010. Washington later directed, produced, and starred in the film adaptation in 2016, which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Washington. He also produced the film adaptation of Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020). He has also appeared in Broadway revivals of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in 2014, and Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh in 2018. Washington is one of only five male actors to be nominated for an Academy Award in five different decades, alongside Sir Laurence Olivier, Paul Newman, Sir Michael Caine, and Jack Nicholson.

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