Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon , New York , USA . The boy was named after his priest father. Denzel was the middle of three children in a family, his mother Lennis "Lynn" (née Lowe, born in 1924 )was originally from Georgia . She worked in a beauty salon, and in his youth he, being an apprentice there, helped his mother . His father, Denzel Hayes Washington Sr. (1909-1991) , was a native of Buckingham County, Virginia , an ordained minister (Pentecostals ) and an employee of the New York City Water Department who also worked at the local S. Klein department store.
After school, he entered Fordham University in New York , where he first studied medicine, then biology, then became interested in journalism and, finally, became interested in theater, graduating in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Washington then entered the American Conservatory of San Francisco . A year later, he moved to New York, began acting in television films and stopped studying at the conservatory .
In 1977, Washington received a small role in his first film, the sports drama Wilma . On the set of this film, he met his future wife, Pauletta Pearson. In 1981, Washington starred in the comedy Exact Copy , where he played one of the main roles. He gained fame among American viewers thanks to his role in the NBC television series St. Elswear , where he starred for 6 years.
In 1988, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in Cry for Freedom by Richard Attenborough .
In 1990, the actor received his first Oscar for his performance in a supporting role in the Civil War film Glory by Edward Zwick .
In 1993, Washington was again nominated for an Oscar for his role as a religious figure in Spike Lee 's Malcolm X. Film critic Roger Ebert and director Martin Scorsese called the film one of the best films of the 1990s . Washington also starred in Lee's other films, Better Life Blues , His Game with Milla Jovovich , and Not Caught, Not a Thief with Clive Owen and Jodie Foster .
In 1993, he played the role of a homophobic lawyer in Philadelphia , opposite Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas .
In 2000, Washington received the Golden Globe Award and the Best Actor Award at the 50th Berlin Film Festival for his performance as a boxer in the biopic The Hurricane .
In 2001, the film " Training Day " was released, in which the actor played a negative character for the first time in his career and received an Oscar for it.
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