Black Sheep of the Month – Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington is a legendary American actor, producer, director, and philanthropist. He is considered as one of the most classic, pure, and refined film actors of all time. His efforts throughout the years have done a lot to drastically expand the range of theatrical roles offered to African-American actors.

Childhood/Early Life

Denzel Washington was born on December 28, 1954 toReverend and Lennis Denzel in Mount Vernon. His father was a Water Department employee and his mother ran a beauty parlor. Denzel was raised in Christian family and did his schooling by switching from school to school. He completed his elementary education at Pennington-Grimes School in 1968. For higher studies, he went to Fordham University in the Journalism field. He also played basketball in the college and was considered a good player. Later during his studies, he participated in the talent hunt competition where his classmates suggested that he should try acting.

Black Sheep of the Month – Denzel Washington

Denzel studied acting in Lincoln Center Campus. Thanks to his performance, he was given roles in various dramas. The actor’s professional career began after he graduated from American Conservatory Theater.

Career and Successes

Denzel Washington made his acting debut in 1977 on the small screen TV show called “Wilma”. Through “Carbon Copy (1981)” he made his entry to Hollywood. The actor got his recognition when he appeared in the hit TV drama “St. Elsewhere”. Afterwards, he did small roles in various TV serials and movies. He was nominated for the Academy Award for his film “Cry Freedom (1987)”. The movie “Glory (1989)” won the actor his first Oscar award. Afterwards, Denzel did a few prominent roles, for which the audience and the critics praised him.

The blockbuster film “Malcom X (1992)” was a turning point in Denzel’s career. In that film, he played the critically acclaimed role of a Black Nationalist leader and got nominated for Oscar. In the early and late 1990s, he came to be known as one of the leading and veteran actors of Hollywood.

At the arrival of the new millennium, Denzel entertained his fans with his role in “Remember the Titans (2000)”. “Training Day (2001)” was his next hit film. It was a thriller for which he won Oscar for Best Actor. Denzel directed his first film in 2002 with “Antwone Fisher”. In his whole career, the actor did numerous films and most of them were hit.

Black Sheep of the Month – Denzel Washington

Awards and Achievements

Throughout his acting career, Denzel has accumulated a wide range of awards and accolades for various roles. Some of the key ones include three Golden Globes, two Academy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Tony Award. He was also the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Challenges and Setbacks

The astonishingly successful career of Denzel Washington has seen its fair share of hardships and setbacks. He was a teenager when his parents divorced. The strongest memories of the actor are of watching his single mother struggle to put food on the table. To become a professional actor, you generally have to go through auditions. Unfortunately, Denzel couldn’t succeed in his first audition at Broadway Theater. It was an unpleasant experience for him, so much so that he would live to recount it decades later when giving his “Fail Forward Speech”. At the beginning of his acting career, Denzel secured a few low-paying appearances in TV programs and commercials before he ultimately made his Hollywood debut in “Carbon Copy (1981)”.


Denzel Washington shares more than just his acting talent with the world. The legendary actor is also strongly identified with philanthropy and charities. He helps out poor African kids and contributes to a fundraiser for various organizations like Save Africa’s Children and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Apart from these, he donates to many other institutions, including Fordham University, Wiley College, and Fisher House Foundations. Denzel also served as a board member and spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Black Sheep of the Month – Denzel Washington

What Makes Denzel Washington a Black Sheep?

Denzel Washington is broadly recognized as one of the greatest actors of all time. He played the most lovable heroes, the cruelest villains, and the everyday joes living somewhere in between, and he has never been less than amazing regardless of where he goes on that spectrum. Furthermore, he has a great personality and is a well-known humanitarian. He has been donating millions of dollars to various hospitals and churches since the very beginning of his fame. He has portrayed real-life characters in movies that inspired millions of actors. His movies are critically well-received for his performance. His accomplishments as an actor as well as a philanthropist over the years make him the Black Sheep of the Month. You simply don’t get any more “A-list” than Denzel Washington.

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