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Friday, May 21, 2010

Denzel Washington

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor, screenwriter, director and film producer. He has garnered much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including for his portrayals of real-life figures, such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone.
Washington has been awarded three Golden Globe awards and two Academy Awards for his work. He is notable as the second African American man (after Sidney Poitier) to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, which he received for his role in the 2001 film Training Day.


Early life

Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, near New York City, in 1954. His mother, Lennis "Lynne", was a beauty parlor-owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem. His father, Reverend Denzel Washington, Sr., was an ordained Pentecostal minister and also worked for the Water Department and at a local department store, S. Klein.
Washington attended grammar school at Pennington-Grimes Elementary School in Mount Vernon, and in 1968, at the age of 14, he was sent to a private preparatory school, Oakland Military Academy, in New Windsor in New York State, followed by Mainland High School, a public high school in Daytona Beach, Florida, from 1970–71. Washington was interested in attending Texas Tech University: "I grew up in the Boys Club in Mount Vernon, and we were the Red Raiders. So when I was in high school, I wanted to go to Texas Tech in Lubbock just because they were called the Red Raiders and their uniforms looked like ours." Nevertheless, Washington earned a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977. At Fordham, he played collegiate basketball as a Freshman guard under coach P. J. Carlesimo.After a period of bouncing from major to major and briefly dropping out of school for a semester, Washington worked as a counselor at an overnight summer camp called Camp Sloane YMCA in Lakeville, Connecticut. After participating in a staff talent show for the campers, a colleague suggested he try acting.Returning to Fordham that fall with a renewed purpose and focus, he enrolled at the Lincoln Center campus to study acting, snagging the title character in both Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, and Shakespeare's Othello. Upon graduation, he was given a scholarship to attend graduate school at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, where he stayed for one year before return to New York to begin a professional acting career.
Career



Early career


Washington's signature in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Washington spent the summer of 1976 in Southern Maryland, in St. Mary's City, acting summer stock theater in the Wings of the Morning, the Maryland State play. Shortly after graduating from Fordham, Washington made his professional acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television movie Wilma. He made his film debut in the 1981 film Carbon Copy, and shared a 1982 Distinguished Ensemble Performance Obie Award playing Private First Class Melvin Peterson in the Negro Ensemble Company's Off-Broadway A Soldier's Play, which premiered November 20, 1981.
A major career break came when he starred as Dr. Phillip Chandler in the ensemble cast of the television hospital drama, St. Elsewhere, which ran from 1982 to 1988 on NBC. He was one of a few actors to appear on the series for its entire six-year run. In 1987, after appearing in several television, film and stage roles, such as the movies A Soldier's Story (1984), Hard Lessons (1986), and Power (1986), Washington starred as South African anti-apartheid political activist Steven Biko in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom, a role for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 1989, Washington won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing a defiant, self-possessed ex-slave in the film Glory. Also that year, he gave a powerful performance as the conflicted and disillusioned Reuben James, a Caribbean-born British soldier who, despite a distinguished military career abroad, turns to a life of vigilantism and violence upon his return to civilian life in For Queen and Country, and was additionally in The Mighty Quinn that year.




1990s
In March 1990, Washington starred in the Spike Lee movie Mo' Better Blues as Bleek Gilliam. In summer 1992 he starred as Demetrius Williams in the romantic drama Mississippi Masala. Washington reteamed with Lee to play one of his most critically acclaimed roles as the title character of in 1992's Malcolm X. His performance as the Black Nationalist leader earned him another Oscar nomination.
Malcolm X transformed Washington's career, turning him, practically overnight, into one of Hollywood's most respected actors. The next year, in 1993, he took another risk in his career by playing Joe Miller, the homophobic lawyer of a homosexual man with AIDS in the movie Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks. During the early and mid 1990s, Washington became a renowned Hollywood leading man, starring in several successful thrillers, including The Pelican Brief and Crimson Tide, as well as in comedy Much Ado About Nothing and alongside legendary singer Whitney Houston in the romantic drama The Preacher's Wife.
In 1999, Washington starred in The Hurricane, a movie about boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, whose conviction for triple murder was overturned after he had spent almost 20 years in prison. A former reporter, angry at seeing the film portray Carter as innocent, despite the overturned conviction, began a campaign to pressure Academy Award voters not to award the film Oscars. Washington did receive a Golden Globe Award in 2000 and a Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for the role.
He also presented the Arthur Ashe ESPY Award to Loretta Claiborne for her courage. He appeared as himself in the end of The Loretta Claiborne Story movie. Washington has been cited as an example of human physical attractiveness due to the symmetry of his facial features.




2000s
In 2000, Washington appeared in the Disney film, Remember the Titans, which grossed over $100 million at the United States box office. He was nominated for and won an Oscar for Best Actor for his next film, the 2001 cop thriller, Training Day, as Det. Alonzo Harris, a rogue LAPD cop with questionable law-enforcement tactics. The role was a much-acclaimed change-of-pace for the actor, who was known for playing many heroic leads. Washington was the second African-American performer ever to win an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor, the first being Sidney Poitier, who happened to receive an Honorary Academy Award the same night that Washington won for Best Actor. Washington holds the record for most Oscar nominations by an actor of African descent; so far he has earned five.
After appearing in 2002's box office success, the health care-themed John Q., Washington directed his first film, a well-reviewed drama called Antwone Fisher, in which he also co-starred.
Between 2003 and 2004, Washington appeared in a series of thrillers that performed generally well at the box office, including Out of Time, Man on Fire, and The Manchurian Candidate. In 2006 he starred in Inside Man, a Spike Lee-directed bank heist thriller co-starring Jodie Foster and Clive Owen, and Déjà Vu released in November 2006.
In 2007, he co-starred with Russell Crowe in American Gangster. Later, Denzel directed and starred in the drama The Great Debaters with Forest Whitaker. Washington next appeared as New York City subway security chief Walter Garber in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a remake of the '70s thriller, The Taking of Pelham One, Two Three, opposite John Travolta and directed by Tony Scott; the film opened in June 2009.
Return to theater


Washington after a performance of Julius Caesar in May 2005
In 2005, after a 15-year hiatus (he was seen last in the summer of 1990 in the title role of the Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Richard III), Washington appeared onstage again in another Shakespeare play as Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar on Broadway. The production's limited run was a consistent sell-out, averaging over 100% attendance capacity nightly despite receiving mixed reviews.




2010s
In February 2009, Washington began filming The Book of Eli, a post-Apocalyptic drama set in the near future and released in January 2010. He is also set to star as a veteran railroad engineer in the action film, Unstoppable, which is about an unmanned, half-mile-long runaway freight train that is carrying dangerous liquids and poisonous gases that is set to wipe out a city, and an engineer and a young train conductor on another freight train must find a way to stop it. The film will be directed by Tony Scott and it will be the fifth collaboration between the two. Previous films include Crimson Tide (1995), Man on Fire (2004), Déjà Vu (2006) and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009).
On May 4, 2010, Washington was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his role in the play Fences.



Personal life

In 1983, Washington married actress Pauletta Pearson (now Pauletta Washington), whom he met on the set of his first screen work, the TV-movie, Wilma. The couple have four children: John David (b. July 28, 1984), who signed a football contract with the St. Louis Rams in May 2006 after playing college football at Morehouse; Katia (b. November 1987), who is attending Yale University, and twins Olivia and Malcolm (named in honor of Malcolm X) (b. April 10, 1991). Malcolm is attending University of Pennsylvania, where he plays for the basketball team. In 1995, the couple renewed their wedding vows in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.
Washington is a devout Christian. In 1995 he donated 2.5 million dollars to help build the new West Angeles COGIC facility in Los Angeles at the city's West Angeles Church of God in Christ.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia named Washington as one of three people (the others being directors Oliver Stone and Michael Moore) with whom they were willing to negotiate for the release of three defense contractors that the group had held captive from 2003 to 2008.
On May 18, 1991, Washington was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Fordham University, for having "impressively succeeded in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent". He also was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from Morehouse College on May 20, 2007.
In 2008, Washington came with a delegation of African American artists to Israel in honor of the Jewish State's 60th birthday.




Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1977 Wilma Robert Eldridge (TV-movie)
1981 Carbon Copy Roger Porter
1984 License to Kill Martin Sawyer
A Soldier's Story Pfc. Melvin Peterson
1986 Hard Lessons George McKenna
Power Arnold Billings NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
1987 Cry Freedom Steve Biko Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1989 The Mighty Quinn Xavier Quinn
For Queen and Country Reuben James Festival du Film Policier de Cognac Award for Best Actor
Glory Pvt. Trip Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
1990 Heart Condition Napoleon Stone
Mo' Better Blues Bleek Gilliam
1991 Ricochet Nick Styles
1992 Mississippi Masala Demetrius Williams NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Malcolm X Malcolm X Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
MTV Movie Award for Best Performance - Male
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Silver Bear for Best Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1993 Much Ado About Nothing Don Pedro of Aragon
The Pelican Brief Gray Grantham Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Male
Philadelphia Joe Miller Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo shared with Tom Hanks
1995 Crimson Tide Lt. Commander Ron Hunter NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Performance - Male
Virtuosity Lt. Parker Barnes
Devil in a Blue Dress Easy Rawlins
1996 Courage Under Fire Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
The Preacher's Wife Dudley
1998 Fallen Detective John Hobbes
He Got Game Jake Shuttlesworth Nominated — Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
The Siege Special Agent Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard FBI
1999 The Bone Collector Lincoln Rhyme
The Hurricane Rubin "Hurricane" Carter Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Black Reel Award for Best Actor
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Silver Bear for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
2000 Remember the Titans Coach Herman Boone BET Award for Best Actor
Black Reel Award for Best Actor
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
The Loretta Claiborne Story Himself
2001 Training Day Detective Alonzo Harris Academy Award for Best Actor
American Film Institute Award for Actor of the Year – Male – Movies
Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
2002 John Q John Quincy Archibald Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Actor
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Antwone Fisher Dr. Jerome Davenport also as director
Black Reel Award for Best Director
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Producers Guild of America Stanley Kramer Award
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Director
2003 Out of Time Police Chief Matthias Lee Whitlock Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
2004 Man on Fire John Creasy Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
The Manchurian Candidate Major Ben Marco
BET Award for Best Actor
2006 Inside Man Detective Keith Frazier Nominated — Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Déjà Vu Special Agent Doug Carlin
Nominated — BET Award for Best Actor
2007 American Gangster Frank Lucas Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Performance - Male
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Great Debaters Melvin B. Tolson also as director
Christopher Award for Best Feature Film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Director
2009 The Taking of Pelham 123 Walter Garber
2010 The Book of Eli Eli
Unstoppable
Source:wikipedia

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