Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor, director, and producer. Known for his performances on the screen and stage, he has been described as an actor who reconfigured “the concept of classic movie stardom”. He has frequently collaborated with directors Spike Lee, Antoine Fuqua, and Tony Scott. He has earned various awards including two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Tony Award. In 2016, he received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, The New York Times ranked him as the greatest actor of the twenty-first century.
Washington started his acting career in theatre, acting in performances off-Broadway including William Shakespeare‘s Coriolanus in 1979. He first gained to prominence in the medical drama St. Elsewhere (1982-1988). Washington’s early film roles included Norman Jewison‘s A Soldier’s Story (1984), Richard Attenborough‘s Cry Freedom (1987). For his role as Private Silas Trip in the Civil War drama Glory (1989), he won his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Throughout the 1990s he established himself as a leading man in such varied films as Spike Lee‘s biographical film epic Malcolm X (1992), Kenneth Branagh‘s Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, Alan J. Pakula‘s legal thriller The Pelican Brief, Jonathan Demme‘s drama Philadelphia (all 1993), and Norman Jewison‘s sports drama The Hurricane (1999). Washington’s second Academy Award was Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001). Washington has continued acting in diverse roles such as football coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans (2000), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson in The Great Debaters (2007), drug kingpin Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007) and the airline pilot with an addiction in Flight (2012).
He won his Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in the Broadway revival of the August Wilson play Fences in 2010. Washington later directed, produced, and starred in the film adaptation which was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Washington. He also produced the film adaptation of Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It was announced of his plan to adapt all of Wilson’s works for film. He has also appeared in Broadway revivals of Lorraine Hansberry‘s A Raisin in the Sun in 2014, and Eugene O’Neill‘s The Iceman Cometh in 2018. (Source)