Wowing audiences for over 2 decades, Denzel, at times, seems flawless as he has certainly perfected his craft. He is not just a great actor, but he has also skillfully directed, screen written, and has produced many films too! But things weren’t always that easy, find out what turning point changed Mr. Washington’s life, not for the better, but for the best…
Born: Dec 28, 1954, Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Net Worth: $120 million (net worth)
Successful For: Actor, screenwriter, director
“I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.”
Keys to Success:
- NEVER SETTLE. KEEP LOOKING FOR YOUR PASSIONS: He had the great ability to never settle. He kept looking and did not stop searching until he eventually found his fire. Denzel played college basketball and was even a counselor at an overnight summer camp until a colleague told him to try acting, at this point the searching was over and he stuck with what he realized he had a storming deep desire for. He once prompted “Do what you got to do so that you can do what you want to do. And fail big.”
- FALL FORWARD NOT BACKWARD. LEARN FROM THE FAILURE TO GET IT RIGHT: Denzel strongly believes in what he calls falling forward. In a commencement speech for the University of Pennsylvania, he explained the concept of falling forward and how Reggie Jackson struck out 2600 times, the most in the history of baseball, he said ‘people don’t remember the strikeout people remember the home runs’. And he states how even in his own life he remembers not getting the auditions and falling short a lot as an actor. Denzel claims we need the guts to fail.
- COMPOSE DISCIPLINE AND ORDER IN YOUR LIFE: Mr. Washington realized when he was young that being disciplined meant a less resistant path to his goals, that he could get places faster. He was quoted saying “I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me – spiritually and financially.” This secret sauce was his early awareness to self control and willpower which guided him in the best direction.
“I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me – spiritually and financially”
Did You Know?
When Denzel was just 14, his parents’ marriage turned to turmoil. With the absence of his father, the young man started hanging out in the streets and getting into much trouble; he eventually became a heroin addict. He credits his mother and the Boy’s and Girl’s club for turning his life around and putting him on the right path. Proof that humans can turn their lives around from extreme negatives to positives.
Road to Success:
Denzel Washington was born and still remains a strong Christian, being his father was a reverend. Ironically, his father didn’t let him go to the movies when he was a kid. Young Denzel began working from the time he was just a young child and he was quite active in the Boys & Girls Club, which he stated was a reason for keeping him out of trouble.
Troubled Street Kid
However, his mother and father divorced when Denzel was 14 years old and he would lose contact with his father shortly after. He would soon find himself hanging out on the streets with kids who would ultimately end up dead or doing time. His mother quickly realized this and put him in an Oakland Military Academy where Denzel claims this decision changed his life.
Where The Inspiration For Acting Came From:
He later attended a public school in Daytona Beach Florida and would eventually attend Fordham University where he received a B.A in Drama and Journalism; he also played college basketball for their team. Denzel worked as a counselor at an overnight summer camp where he participated in a staff talent show and a colleague suggested he try acting.
Perfecting The Art Of Acting:
He returned to Fordham that fall with a deeper purpose and focus, where he enrolled at the Lincoln Center Campus to study acting and was even given a few roles. Denzel was awarded a scholarship to attend graduate school at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco where he went for one year before returning to his home in New York to begin a professional acting career. This obtained knowledge would certainly serve it’s purpose in the later years. Denzel would play in many roles before attaining and playing a part in a Medical Drama called St. Elsewhere for 6 years which would help him rise to stardom. He got his big breakthrough when he had mastered Malcolm X in a stage performance in New York which would eventually turn into a big screen production directed by Spike Lee. However, his real breakthrough was ultimately in his decision to pursue his passion of acting, since then Denzel has been living “his” dream.
“I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness.”
Denzel Washington is a very fine accomplished A list actor who has been wowing audiences for the past 2 decades. He is not just a great actor, but he has also skilfully directed, screen written, and has produced many films too! Denzel is a real class act who has received many awards but most notable were his 2 Oscars and 2 Academy Awards. He is known for his good looks and portrayals of real life figures such as Frank Lucas, Rubin Carter and even Malcolm X. Denzel Washington is unquestionably the most popular African-American actor of his generation as he made a big statement and influence to the entire world.
Family-Man & Beliefs:
Not just a busy celebrity, he is a family man too: They continue to be devout Christians and Denzel has even considered becoming a preacher. He has made a great commitment to his family and he believes in putting time in to raise his kids, in fact he has done such a huge job in being a father that his son has even been drafted by the St Louis Rams, and one of his daughters attends Yale University. Denzel Washington is without a doubt, a very talented and reputable actor who is truly remarkable at applying good morals, values and ethics making him one of the most glorified movie stars of our time.
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