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Biography #2 (for The Great Debaters)

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is a man constantly on the move. Never comfortable repeating himself or his successes, Washington is always in search of new challenges and his numerous and varied film and stage portrayals bear this out. From Trip, an embittered runaway slave in Glory, to South African freedom fighter Steven Biko in Cry Freedom; from Shakespeare's tragic historical figure Richard III, to the womanizing trumpet player, Bleek Gilliam in Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues, Washington has amazed and entertained us with a rich array of characters distinctly his own.

Perhaps one of his most critically acclaimed performances to date was his Academy-Award winning performance in Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua. It was one of only two films in 2001 that spent two weeks at the number one spot at the box office.

Next up for the talented thespian is his starring role alongside Russell Crowe in American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott. The film is based on the true juggernaut success story that portrays the life of a cult hero from the streets of 1970s Harlem during one of America's biggest drug wars.

More recent feature films include Déjà Vu, re-teaming Washington with director Tony Scott whom he previously collaborated with on Man On Fire. Washington was also seen in Spike Lee's The Inside Man, opposite Clive Owen, and The Manchurian Candidate, a modern day remake of the 1962 classic film in the part that Frank Sinatra made famous.

In 2002, Washington starred in John Q, a story about a down-on-his-luck father whose son is in need of a heart transplant. The film established an opening day record for President's Day weekend, grossing $24.1 million and was the highest weekend gross in Washington's illustrious career. The film also garnered Washington a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.

With many movies to his credit, other notable features include Jerry Bruckheimer's box-office sensation ($115 million domestic gross) Remember the Titans. He also starred in The Hurricane, where he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination (his fourth) for his portrayal of Rubin Hurricane Carter, who was the world middleweight champion boxer during the 1960s, and wrongfully imprisoned twice for the murder of three white people in a New Jersey bar.

Another critically acclaimed performance was his portrayal of Malcolm X, the complex and controversial Black activist from the 1960s, in director Spike Lee's biographical epic, Malcolm X, hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the best films of 1992. For his portrayal, Washington received a number of accolades including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

His other key films are The Bone Collector, Fallen, He's Got Game, The Siege, Courage Under Fire, The Preacher's Wife, Crimson Tide, Virtuosity, and Devil In A Blue Dress. Additional film credits include Kenneth Branaugh's film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, Jonathan Demme's controversial Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and The Pelican Brief, based on the John Grisham novel.

In addition to his accomplishments on screen, Washington took on a very different type of role in 2000. He produced the HBO documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, which was nominated for two Emmys. He also served as Executive Producer on Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream, a biographical documentary for TBS that was nominated for an Emmy Award. Additionally, Washington's narration of the legend of John Henry was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award in the category of Best Spoken Word Album for Children and he was awarded the 1996 NAACP Image Award for his performance in the animated children's special, Happily Ever After: Rumpelstiltskin. He made his directorial debut with Antwone Fisher that was released in 2002.

A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Washington had his career sights set on medicine when he attended Fordham University. During a stint as a summer camp counselor he appeared in one of their theatre production and was bitten by the acting bug. He returned to Fordham that year seeking the tutelage of Robinson Stone, one of the school's leading professors, and upon graduation from Fordham, Washington was accepted into San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theater. Following an intensive year of study in their theater program, he returned to New York after a brief stop in Los Angeles.

Washington's professional career began with Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park and was quickly followed by numerous off-Broadway productions including Ceremonies in Dark Old Men; When The Chickens Came Home to Roost (in which he portrayed Malcolm X); One Tiger to a Hill; Man and Superman; Othello; A Soldier's Play, for which he won an Obie Award. Washington's other stage appearances include the Broadway production of Checkmates and Richard III, which was produced as part of the 1990 Free Shakespeare in the Park series hosted by Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York City.

Washington was discovered by Hollywood when he was cast in 1979 in the television film Flesh and Blood. It was his award-winning performance on stage in A Soldier's Play that captured the attention of the producers of the NBC television series, St. Elsewhere, and he was soon cast in the long-running hit series as Dr. Phillip Chandler.

In 1982, Washington re-created his role from A Soldier's Play for Norman Jewison's film version. Re-titled A Soldier's Story, Washington's portrayal was critically well-received. He went on to star in Sidney Lumet's Power, Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom for which he received his first Oscar nomination, For Queen and Country, The Mighty Quinn, Heart Condition, Glory, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues. Washington also starred in the action adventure film, Ricochet, and in Mira Nair's bittersweet comedy Mississippi Masala.

Bio courtesy MGM for "The Great Debaters" (19-May-2008)


Biography #3 (for Déjà Vu)

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is a man constantly on the move. Never comfortable repeating himself or his successes, Washington is always in search of new challenges and his numerous and varied film and stage portrayals bear this out. From Trip, an embittered runaway slave in Glory, to South African freedom fighter Steven Biko in Cry Freedom; From Shakespeare's tragic historical figure Richard III, to the womanizing trumpet player, Bleek Gilliam in Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues, Washington has amazed and entertained us with a rich array of characters distinctly his own. In 2004, Washington collaborated with Tony Scott on Man On Fire. In this film, Washington plays an ex marine who has been hired to protect a young girl, played by Dakoda Fanning, from kidnapping threats. That same year, Washington was also seen in The Manchurian Candidate, a modern day remake of the 1962 classic film for Paramount Pictures. Washington will star along side Meryl Streep and Liev Schreiber, in the part that Frank Sinatra made famous. He plays Bennett Marco, a gulf war soldier who returns from combat and is unable to remember events as he has been brainwashed. The film is directed by Jonathan Demme.

Perhaps one of his most critically acclaimed performances to date was the Academy-Award winning performance in Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua. The story revolves around a grizzled LAPD veteran, played by Washington, who shows a rookie narcotics cop, played by Ethan Hawke, the ropes on his first day of the soul-city beat. The film was only one of two in 2001 that spent two week at the number one spot at the box office.

In 2003 Washington was seen in Out Of Time directed by Carl Franklin. Washington played opposite Eva Mendez and Sanaa Lathan in the murder mystery thriller for MGM. He played a Florida police chief who must solve a double homicide before he falls under suspicion for the murders himself. December 2002 marked Denzel Washington's feature film directorial debut with Antwone Fisher. The film, which is based on a true-life story, and inspired by the best-selling autobiography, Finding Fish, follows Fisher, a troubled young sailor played by newcomer Derek Luke, as he comes to terms with his past. The film won critical praise, and was awarded the Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America, as well as winning an NAACP Award for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Washington. Also, in 2002, Washington was seen in John Q, a story about a down-on-his-luck father whose son is in need of a heart transplant. The film established an opening day record for President's Day weekend, grossing $24.1 million and was the highest weekend gross in Washington's illustrious career. The film garnered Washington a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. In September of 2000, he starred in Jerry Bruckheimer's box-office sensation ($115 million domestic gross) Remember the Titans, a fact-based film about the integration of a high school football team in Alexandria VA. in 1971. Earlier that year, he starred in Universal's The Hurricane, reteaming with director Norman Jewison. Washington received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination (his fourth) for his portrayal of Rubin Hurricane Carter, who was the world middleweight champion boxer during the 1960s, who was wrongfully imprisoned twice for the June 17, 1966, murder of three whites in a New Jersey bar.

In November of 1999, he starred in Universal's The Bone Collector, the adaptation of Jeffrey Deaver's novel about the search for a serial killer, co-starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Phillip Noyce. He played the role of a quadriplegic police detective who is a forensics expert.

In 1998, he starred in the crime thriller "Fallen (Warner Bros.), for director Greg Hoblit, and in Spike Lee's He Got Game, released by Touchstone (Disney). Also, he reteamed with director Ed Zwick in the 20th Century-Fox terrorist thriller The Siege, co-starring Annette Bening and Bruce Willis.

In the summer of 1996, he starred in the critically acclaimed military drama Courage Under Fire, for his Glory director, Ed Zwick. Washington portrayed Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling, a tank commander in the Gulf War, who is charged with investigating conflicting reports surrounding the first female nominee for a Medal of Honor. Later that year, Washington starred opposite Whitney Houston in Penny Marshall's romantic comedy The Preacher's Wife. Washington played an angel who comes to the aid of Reverend Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) who's doubts about his ability to make a difference in his troubled community are also affecting his family.

In 1995, he starred opposite Gene Hackman as Navy Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter in Tony Scott's underwater action adventure Crimson Tide; as ex-cop Parker Barnes, released from prison to track down a computer-generated criminal in the futuristic thriller Virtuosity; and as World War II veteran Easy Rawlins, in the 1940's romantic thriller Devil in a Blue Dress (which Washington's Mundy Lane Entertainment produced with Jonathan Demme's Clinica Estetico).Another critically acclaimed performance was his portrayal of Malcolm X, the complex and controversial Black activist from the 1960's, in director Spike Lee's biographical epic, Malcolm X. Monumental in scope and filmed over a period of six months in the United States and Africa, Malcolm X was hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the best films of 1992. For his portrayal, Denzel received a number of accolades including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

In addition to his accomplishments on screen, Washington took on a very different type of role in 2000. He produced the HBO documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, nominated for two Emmys. Also, he served as executive producer on Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream, a biographical documentary for TBS which was nominated for an Emmy Award. Additionally, Washington's narration of the legend of John Henry was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award in the category of Best Spoken Word Album for Children and he was awarded the 1996 NAACP Image Award for his performance in the animated children's special Happily Ever After: Rumpelstiltskin. A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Washington had his career sights set on medicine when he attended Fordham University. During a stint as a summer camp counselor he appeared in one of their theatre productions; Denzel was bitten by the acting bug and returned to Fordham that year seeking the tutelage of Robinson Stone, one of the school's leading professors. Upon graduation from Fordham, Washington was accepted into San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theater. Following an intensive year of study in their theater program, he returned to New York after a brief stop in Los Angeles. Washington's professional New York theater career began with Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park and was quickly followed by numerous off-Broadway productions including Ceremonies in Dark Old Men; "When The Chickens Came Home to Roost (in which he portrayed Malcolm X); One Tiger to a Hill; Man and Superman; Othello; A Soldier's Play," for which he won an Obie Award. Washington's more recent stage appearances include the Broadway production of Checkmates and Richard III, which was produced as part of the 1990 Free Shakespeare in the Park series hosted by Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York City.

Washington was 'discovered' by Hollywood when he was cast in 1979 in the television film Flesh and Blood. But it was Denzel's award-winning performance on stage in A Soldier's Play that captured the attention of the producers of the NBC television series, St. Elsewhere, and he was soon cast in that long-running hit series as Dr. Phillip Chandler. His other television credits include The George McKenna Story, License to Kill, and Wilma.

In 1982, Washington re-created his role from A Soldier's Play for Norman Jewison's film version. Re-titled A Soldier's Story, Denzel's portrayal of Private Peterson was critically well-received. Washington went on to star in Sidney Lumet's Power, Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom for which he received his first Oscar nomination, For Queen and Country,The Mighty Quinn, Heart Condition, Glory, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues. Washington also starred in the action adventure film, Ricochet, and in Mira Nair's bittersweet comedy Mississippi Masala. Additional film credits include Kenneth Branaugh's film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, Jonathan Demme's controversial Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and The Pelican Brief, based on the John Grisham novel.

Bio courtesy Touchstone for "Déjà Vu" (04-Mar-2007)


Biography #4 (for Out of Time)

Denzel Washington, a two time Academy Award-winner, is always in search of new challenges; his varied film and stage portrayals bear this out. From Trip, an embittered runaway slave in Glory, to South African freedom fighter Steven Biko in Cry Freedom; from Shakespeare's tragic historical figure Richard III to womanizing trumpet player Bleek Gilliam in Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues, Washington has amazed and entertained audiences with a rich and colorful array of characters distinctly his own.

Most recently, Washington made his feature film directorial debut in December 2002 with Antwone Fisher. Based on a true story, the film won critical praise and was awarded the Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America, as well as an NAACP Award for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Washington's performance.

One of Washington's most acclaimed roles to date was his Academy Award-winning tour-de-force in Training Day. The film opened number one at the box office with the highest weekend gross ($23.6 million) in his illustrious career. He was also recently seen in John Q. The film established an opening day record for President's Day weekend, grossing $24.1 million, and garnered Washington a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.

In September 2000, Washington starred in Jerry Bruckheimer's box-office sensation Remember the Titans ($115 million domestic gross). Earlier that year, he starred in The Hurricane, reteaming with director Norman Jewison. He received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination (his fourth) for his portrayal of Rubin Hurricane Carter.

In November 1999, he starred in The Bone Collector opposite Angelina Jolie. In 1998, he starred in Fallen for director Gregory Hoblit and in Spike Lee's He Got Game. He also reteamed with director Ed Zwick for The Siege, co-starring Annette Bening and Bruce Willis.

In the summer of 1996, Washington starred in the critically acclaimed military drama Courage Under Fire, again with his Glory director, Ed Zwick. Later that year, he starred opposite Whitney Houston in Penny Marshall's The Preacher's Wife. In 1995, he starred opposite Gene Hackman in Tony Scott's Crimson Tide; in the futuristic thriller Virtuosity; and as Easy Rawlins in Out of Time director Carl Franklin's Devil in a Blue Dress (which Washington's Mundy Lane Entertainment produced with Jonathan Demme's Clinica Estetico).

Another of Washington's most acclaimed performances was his portrayal of Malcolm X in director Spike Lee's epic Malcolm X. The film was hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the best films of 1992. For his portrayal, Denzel received a number of accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

In addition to his accomplishments on screen, Washington took on a different type of role in 2000. He produced the HBO documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, which was nominated for two Emmys. He also served as executive producer on Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream, a biographical documentary for TBS which was nominated for an Emmy Award. Additionally, his narration of the legend of John Henry was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, and he was awarded the 1996 NAACP Image Award for his performance in the animated children's special Happily Ever After: Rumpelstiltskin.

A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Washington had his career sights set on medicine when he attended Fordham University. But during a stint as a summer camp counselor he appeared in one of their theatre productions; he was bitten by the acting bug and returned to Fordham that year

seeking the tutelage of Robinson Stone, one of the school's leading professors. Upon graduation, he was accepted into San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theater, and following an intensive year of study in their theater program, he returned to New York.

Washington's New York theater career began with Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park, and was quickly followed by numerous off-Broadway productions, including Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, When the Chickens Came Home to Roost (in which he portrayed Malcolm X), One Tiger to a Hill, Man and Superman, Othello, and A Soldier's Play, for which he won an Obie Award. Washington's more recent stage appearances include the Broadway production of Checkmates and Richard III, which was produced as part of the 1990 Free Shakespeare in the Park series hosted by Joseph Papp's Public Theatre.

Washington was discovered by Hollywood in 1979 when he was cast in the television film Flesh and Blood, but it was his award-winning performance onstage in A Soldier's Play that captured the attention of the producers of the NBC television series St. Elsewhere, and he was soon cast in that long-running series as Dr. Phillip Chandler. His other television credits include The George McKenna Story, License to Kill, and Wilma.

In 1982, Washington re-created his role from A Soldier's Play for Norman Jewison's film version, re-titled A Soldier's Story. Washington went on to star in Sidney Lumet's Power, Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom (for which he received his first Oscar nomination), For Queen and Country, The Mighty Quinn, Heart Condition, Glory (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), and Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues. Washington also starred in Ricochet and in Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala.

Additional film credits include Kenneth Branaugh's Much Ado About Nothing, Jonathan Demme's controversial Philadelphia with Tom Hanks, and The Pelican Brief opposite Julia Roberts, based on the John Grisham novel.

Bio courtesy MGM for "Out of Time" (05-Oct-2003)


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