Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is a known face in the American film industry for over 40 years. This actor turned director and producer has bagged 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globe and a Tony Award in his long career. He belongs from that era where being a black person wasn’t easy in the US. Despite all the odds, he managed to succeed and established himself in Hollywood.
Denzel has acted in 48 big-budget movies with two more in production and scheduled to release in 2020. He also appeared on television on more than 10 occasions, the latest one being “The Sound of Silence” episode of famous tv series Grey’s Anatomy. With such a long-lasting career, Denzel has managed to make a fortune for himself. Today I am going to discuss Denzel Washington’s net worth. But before that, let’s talk about his journey to success.
Denzel Washington’s Humble Beginnings
On December 28, 1954, The star of Malcolm X was born in a modest family residing in Mount Vernon, New York. Located above of Bronx borough, this area was once a breeding ground of criminal activities. His father worked for the NYC Water Department who was also a Pentecostal Minister. His mother owned a beauty salon in the neighborhood. He attended a local elementary school in Mount Vernon until 1968 when his parents got separated. It is a humble background that makes Denzel Washington’s success story truly inspirational.
How Parents Divorce Changed Denzel’s Life
When his parents got divorced, Denzel’s mother got his custody. She sent her son to Oakland Military Academy for a year. This decision proved to be a life saving one, as a full year of the academy changed Denzel’s life trajectory. Living in a crime-prone area, he was hanging out with potential criminals. Denzel later told all of his childhood friends had served prison time.
After his stint with the academy ended, Denzel finished his high school education in 1971 from Daytona Beach, Florida. Then he went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in drama and journalism from Fordham University. He was also a regular in the college basketball team.
During college years, Denzel enrolled himself in a summer camp as a creative arts director. Here, he got the idea of having an acting career from his co-workers. That’s why after college, he joined the American Conservatory Theater.
Denzel’s Initial Big Break
Television film ‘Wilma’ marked Denzel’s small screen debut in 1977. Soon after that, he made his Hollywood debut with 1981 movie ‘Carbon Copy.’ However, these two ventures didn’t earn him much recognition as an actor. Instead, it was an off-broadway play named ‘A Soldier’s Play’ that showcased his acting potential. Denzel won an Obie award for his outstanding performance in the play.
His Broadway success landed him a part in NBC’s hospital drama series ‘St Elsewhere.’ He was in the series for its entire run of six years. During this time, Denzel got his first Academy Award nomination for an anti-separatism activist’s role in ‘Cry Freedom.’
Denzel’s Early Films
Cry Freedom was a big stepping stone in Denzel Washington’s success story. After this film only, Denzel’s Hollywood venture got the push it needed. He appeared in ‘For Queen and Country’ and ‘The Mighty Quinn’ in 1988 and 1989 respectively. He portrayed the role of an ex-slave army man in the 1989 film ‘Glory’ and earned an Academy Award for the actor in the best supporting character category.
Being an Oscar winner so early in his career skyrocketed Denzel’s demand. Throughout the 90’s he started appearing in several movies a year. Some of his notable films include:
- Ricochet (1991)
- Malcolm X (1992)
- Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
- Philadelphia (1993)
- Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
- The Siege (1998)
- The Hurricane (1999)
Later Half of Denzel’s Career and His Finest Movies
With the start of a new century, Denzel got his first Golden Globe award for the best actor for his appearance in ‘The Hurricane.’ He became the first black actor to win that award in four decades. His peak point in the acting career, however, came in the following year. His portrayal of a corrupt LA cop in 2001 film Training Day made him only the second African-American actor in history to win Oscars’ best actor award.
Denzel made his directorial debut in 2002 in a well-received drama called Antwone Fisher. In the next few years, he acted in a series of crime thrillers which includes Man of Fire, The Manchurian Candidate and Out of Time. In 2005, Denzel made a return to the theatre with ‘Julius Caesar’, a Broadway production. His performance as the lead got critical appreciation.
In his long career, Denzel had almost a half-century of films under his belt. Most of his movies performed quite well in the box office. Here are the top 10 critically acclaimed and commercially successful film of Denzel Washington.
- Glory (1989)
- Fences (2016)
- Inside Man (2006)
- Devil in a Blue Dress (1994)
- Unstoppable (2010)
- American Gangster (2007)
- Malcolm X (1992)
- Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
- The Book of Eli (2010)
- Deja Vu (2006)
Denzel’s Awards and Nominations
Denzel Washington is among the most praised actors of his generation. It is no surprise that he has been presented with many awards for his performance on the big screen. Following are some prominent awards won by him:
- Oscar & Golden Globe Award in the category of best supporting actor for ‘Glory’
- Academy Award in best actor category for ‘Training Day’
- Golden Globe Award in the best actor category for ‘The Hurricane.’
- Tony Award in the best actor in a play category for ‘Fences.’
Along with all these awards, Denzel got nominated multiple times in almost every eminent award ceremony. The most notable ones are 9 times Oscar nominations, 10 times Golden Globe nominations, 2 nominations each in Tony and PrimeTime Emmy award and a single Grammy nomination.
Denzel is a One Woman Guy
Denzel met his wife Pauletta in the set of ‘Wilma,’ his first TV appearance. After being in a relationship for five years, the couple decided to get married in 1983. They were blessed with four children, two sons and two daughters. John David, the eldest among all, was born in the subsequent year of their marriage. Elder daughter Katia took birth in 1986 while the twin Malcom and Olivia were born in the year 1991.
When it comes to keeping the marriage alive, Denzel is an expert. Denzel has been married to Pauletta for more than 36 years, which is an uncommon scenario among Hollywood superstars. The couple renews their marriage vows in 1995 in South Africa and still going strong.
Denzel’s Net Worth
Denzel Washington net worth has been a subject of public interest over the years. According to Celebritynetworth dot com, his net worth is around $220 million. Between his acting, directing and producing credits, Delzel’s bank account has grown exponentially over the years. Starring in several blockbusters for four decades, it is no wonder that the A-lister has made a fortune for himself.
Denzel’s High-Value Earnings
In his Hollywood career spanning decades, Denzel has come across many financially fruitful years. He was paid twice for the movie ‘American Gangster’. Once in 2004 for shooting the film. Then it got scrapped only to revive again in 2007 for release. Upon release, the film went on to secure an enormous $288 million box office collection. Denzel got a fair share of the film’s success with a subsequent payment. That year, he earned $38 million in total.
Denzel’s 2012 movie ‘Flight’ earned $162 million worldwide on a total budget of $31 million only. It paid enough dividends and placed Denzel in 9th highest earned actor in 2013. As stated by Forbes, He earnings were close to $33 million that year.
Denzel’s producing ventures also went pretty well considering 5 commercially successful films in 6 undertakings. He reportedly made $25 million for 2015 film ‘The Equalizer.’ His other productions like ‘The Book of Eli’, ‘Fences’ and ‘Antwone Fisher’ also made more than twice of their budget.
He also has an endorsement deal with the German car manufacturer, Audi. Though the exact amount of money involved in the contract is unknown but, we can assume it will be in 7 figures.
The legendary actor owns a beautiful property situated in Beverly Park terrace, Los Angeles. This 28000 square feet Mediterranean style house has 14 bedrooms, 8 bathing areas, a tennis court and a big infinity pool. Constructed in the year 1999, this property is presently valued at around $5 million.
Denzel has some great cars in his garage. His collection of vehicles includes an Aston Martin Vanquish worth $300,000, a Rolls Royce Phantom worth $400,000, a Range Rover Evoque worth $80,000. He also owns an Aston Martin DBS worth $100,000 and a Chrysler 300 C worth $32,000.
Denzel’s Philanthropic Works
His humble background made Denzel very generous and kind towards giving back to society. Denzel Washington net worth might be huge, so is his heart. He donated $2.5 million toward building ‘Church of God in Christ’ in LA.
He also made donations of $1 million each to Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund and Wiley College. His gift of $2 million toward his alma mater, Fordham University’s Theatrical department was used to build a new block. There is also a theatre specific scholarship in Fordham which was started by a $250,000 donation from Denzel Washington.
Denzel Washington success story tells us to embrace what we have and never give up on our dreams. His journey from a crime-prone Mount Vernon to downtown LA was never easy. He hit a lot of bumps in the road to success. Still, he never stopped trying. This ‘never say die’ attitude is crucial to overcome an obstacle in life.
He has earned quite a handful of money. Denzel Washington net worth of $220 million proves how successful his acting career has been till now. But, all this money could not make him forget his roots. His monetary contributions to underprivileged children and his alma mater demonstrate his acknowledgement towards his early background.
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