On today in 1954, the Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, who’ll continue to star such films as Malcolm X and Training Day, exists in Mount Vernon, New York. In 2002, for his efficiency as a corrupt cop in Training Day, Washington became the 1st black man to win the Best Actor Academy Award since 1964, when Sidney Poitier received the award for Lilies of the Field.
Washington graduated from Fordham University and studied acting at the American Conservatory Theatre. He 1st gained notice in Hollywood for his part as Dr. Philip Chandler on the well-liked Tv medical drama St. Elsewhere, which initially aired from 1982 to 1988. Washington received his 1st Oscar nomination, in the Best Supporting Actor category, for his performance because the anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in 1987’s Cry Freedom. He won his 1st Best Supporting Actor Oscar 2 yrs later, for his portrayal of a runaway slave who joins the Union Army in the 1989 Civil War-era film Glory.
During the 1990s, Washington established himself on Hollywood’s A-list being an actor who could shine in serious dramas along with blockbuster thrillers. He collaborated with the director Spike Lee on Mo’ Better Blues (1990), the biopic Malcolm X (1992), which earned Washington a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the title function, and He Got Game (1998). He also appeared such movies as Mississippi Masala (1991), Philadelphia (1993), with Tom Hanks, and the biopic The Hurricane (1996), which earned Washington just one more Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as a boxer falsely convicted of murder. He also starred such hit thrillers as The Pelican Brief (1993) and Crimson Tide (1995).
After his historic win for Training Day, Washington continued to star in Man on Fire (2004) with Dakota Fanning, Spike Lee’s Inside Man (2006) with Jodie Foster, and American Gangster (2007) with Russell Crowe. Washington, who in 1996 was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” stepped behind the camera to direct 2002’s Antwone Fisher, where he co-starred with Derek Luke in the story of a navy officer who confronts his troubled past. More lately, he helmed 2007’s The Great Debaters, where he also starred being an inspiring debate coach at an African-American university in the 1930s.