Talented Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington (1954-) was born on this day in Mt. Vernon, New York. His father was a minister and his mother owned and operated a beauty parlor.
Of his childhood, he recalled, "My mother never gave up on me. I messed up in school so much they were sending me home, but my mother sent me right back."
Before he pursued acting, Washington earned a B.A. in Journalism from Fordham University.
He made his major film debut in 1981's Carbon Copy and spent six years winning hearts on TV's St. Elsewhere before scoring the Best Supporting Oscar for his unforgettable performance in the Civil War epic, Glory (1989).
"I bring myself to any part," he said. "And I'll bring my experiences and voice my opinions."
Throughout his career, the star has stretched himself as an actor, choosing roles of quality and intelligence. He dominated the screen with critically acclaimed performances in Malcolm X (1992), Philadelphia (1994, w/Tom Hanks), Crimson Tide (1995), and The Hurricane (1999).
The versatile performer won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the corrupt cop in Training Day (2001). With performances that celebrated passion, conviction, and excellence, Washington has also had great success as a film director.
"I'm fulfilling my part of the bargain, which is to give back and be a positive influence on others," the popular star explained. "That's all you can do; take what you've been given and spread it around."
More Film-Making Quotations
Just be ready to SHINE.