Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York.
He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia.
After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University, intent on a career in journalism.
However, he caught the acting bug while appearing in student drama productions and, upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater.
He left A.C.T. after only one year to seek work as an actor.
His first paid acting role was in a summer stock theater stage production in St. Mary’s City, Maryland. The play was “Wings of the Morning”, which is about the founding of the colony of Maryland (now the state of Maryland)
He played the part of a real historical character, Mathias Da Sousa, although much of the dialogue was created. Afterwards he began to pursue screen roles in earnest.
With his acting versatility and powerful presence, he had no difficulty finding work in numerous television productions.