Denzel Washington Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 25 Jan, 2018
Facts of Denzel Washington
Name Denzel Washington
Birth Name Denzel Hayes Washington Jr.
Nick Name D,Jr.
Father Denzel Hayes Washington, Sr.
Mother Lennis "Lynne" (née Lowe)
Nationality American
Birth Place/City Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Religion Christian
Ethnicity African-American
Profession Actor, director, producer
Net Worth $140 million
Eye Color Dark brown
Hair Color Dark brown
Weight in KG 90 kg
Married Yes
Married to Pauletta Washington (m. 1983)
Children John David Washington, Olivia Washington, Katia Washington, Malcolm Washington
Education Fordham University, B.A. 1977
Awards Tony Award
View more / View Less Facts of Denzel Washington


Denzel Hayes Washington, an American actor/director, is one of the popular faces in the Hollywood. He has appeared in various films and TV series including Malcolm X, Fallen, The Hurricane and Inside Man.

Washington has won three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award and two Oscars: Best Supporting Actor for the historical film Glory and Best actor for his role as a corrupt in the crime thriller film Training Day (2001).

In 2016, his third directorial film, Fences, featuring himself and Viola Davis, was released in December 2016.  

Early Life and Education

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954, in Mount Vernon, New York. Denzel is the middle of three children of his parents. His father was a Pentecostal minister and had influenced him in the art of performing, while his mother was a beautician in a beauty parlor. 

She often took him to her workplace and exposed him to the interesting conversation that eventually taught him the art of storytelling.

After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University, intent on a career in journalism. However, he caught the acting bug while appearing in student drama productions. Upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater.


After appearing in some television commercials and programs, Denzel made his feature film debut in 1981 with the comedy movie ‘Carbon Copy’. It was followed by a 1982 television movie, ‘License to Kill’.

Over the 1980s he appeared in many films like ‘A Soldier’s Story’ in 1984, ‘Power’ in 1986, and ‘The Mighty Quinn’ in 1989. He climbed the peak of success in 1989 with the release of the drama War film ’Glory’ in which he played Private Silas Trip. He was honored with many awards for this role.

Denzel played the title role in ‘Malcolm X’ (1992). This movie provides tremendous success as he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the Muslim African-American human rights activist. The decade of 1990 was a very productive period for the talented actor.

He played the lawyer Joe Miller in the 1993 drama film ‘Philadelphia’ which was one of the first Hollywood movies to deal with issues like homosexuality, AIDS, and homophobia.

In 1995, Denzel was seen as Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter in ‘Crimson Tide’. The movie was set in post-Soviet Russia during a period of political turmoil.

‘The Hurricane’ in 1999 was a successful film of him in which he played Rubin Carter, a boxer arrested for triple homicide. Denzel’s performance was highly appreciated, and he won many awards.

He has given the most memorable performances as Detective Alonzo Harris in the 2001 crime drama, ‘Training Day’. His 2000s movie include: ‘Antwone Fisher’ in 2002, ‘Inside Man’ in 2006, and ‘The Great Debaters’ in 2007.

Denzel’s most recent film is ‘Flight’ in 2012, revolves around the story of a complicated character, William Whitaker, who is an airline pilot struggling with alcoholism. Denzel was nominated for an Academy Award for this role.

In 2017, he appeared in the film Roman J. Israel, Esq and received nominations for several awards from the film. Best Actor at the 90th Oscar Awards, Best Actor-Motion Picture Drama at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards and for Outstanding Performance by a Male Role in a Leading Role at the 24th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. 

Personal Life

Denzel Washington is a married man. He is married to Pauletta Pearson since 1983.

They have four children; John David, Katia, Olivia and Malcolm. In 1995, they renewed their married in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.

Their oldest son, John David, was drafted in 2006 by the NFL's St. Louis Rams. He now plays for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League.

His eldest daughter, Katia is a Yale graduated student. Another daughter, Olivia is also an actress and Malcolm holds BA in film studies.

The couple has been together for already about 35 years and considered one of the longest run couples in the Hollywood.

He follows Christian religion and donates $2.5 million to help build the new West Angeles Church of God Christ facility in Los Angeles. 

Net worth

Denzel Washington’s current net worth is $220 million. He earns annually over $60 million. He is one of the richest actors in the Hollywood. According to Forbes, his films have grossed over $3.7 billion at the Box Office, as of 2017.

His estimated salary per film is $40 million. In 2007, he earned $40 million salary from the film American Gangster. His salary has been rapid growth since last 2 decades. In 1995, his salary was $7.5 million for the film Virtuosity. Following year, he took $10 million salary from the movie Courage Under Fire.

His salary hiked up to $20 million in 2003 when he worked in the film Out of Time. Similarly, he received the same amount from Man of Fire (2004).

His salary was double in 2007 when he took $40 million from the film American Gangster. In 2016, he produced/directed and starring in the period drama film Fences which collected $64.4 million at the Box Office. He received his huge salary plus a share of profit from this film.

Denzel owns a very beautiful mansion in Beverly Hills which covers the large area of around 2.3 acres. The lavish home costs $4.75 million. He also owns several lavishes cars. 


Denzel has also involved in several charitable works for a long time. He has raised and donated millions to these movements and foundations.

He donated $1 million to Wiley College to re-establish its debate team. Denzel Washington is a lifetime founder member of the Nelsen Mandela Children’s Fund.

Besides, he has been supporting several charities including, Artists for a New South Africa, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Farm Sanctuary and Stand Up to Cancer.