Photo of Denzel Washington Denzel Washington

This charismatic star was born Dec. 28, 1954, in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. After some acclaimed stage work with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, he made his film debut in the 1981 comedy Carbon Copy.

By the mid-1980s, Washington's success on the TV series "St. Elsewhere" invited higher-profile film roles. He was Oscar-nominated for the apartheid drama Cry Freedom and won the Best Supporting Actor statuette for 1989's Glory. More nominations followed in the title roles of Malcolm X (1992) and The Hurricane (1999), both based on real people.

Washington then went completely (and successfully) against type as the sadistic, corrupt policeman in Training Day (2001), copping his second Oscar, this time for Best Actor. His forceful screen presence has also been felt in Mo' Better Blues, Philadelphia, Courage Under Fire and Antwone Fisher (which he also directed).

Denzel Washington in Fences

Fences

2016 PG-13

Working as a trash collector in 1950s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson struggles to raise his family while trying to transcend the bitter experience of being a talented baseball player denied the opportunity to play in the majors because of his race.

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