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What else is there to say about Denzel Washington? The man has more than enough charm and charisma for two actors. The multiple Oscar winner has appeared in some modern classics, and he has also shown up in some great modern action films. Here are a dozen of facts about Denzel you may not have known…
1. In a Newsweek cover story about the biological basis of the perception of beauty, Denzel was used as a key example in a scientific explanation why he is considered an extremely handsome man.
2. Washington is, astonishingly, only the second black actor after Sidney Poitier to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role Training Day. Poitier received the honorary Academy Award that same year.
3. Was awarded the title of “Police Chief for a Day” when he was a member of The Boys and Girls Club of America as a child. The photo was shown during his latest appearance on Live with Kelly and Michael.
4. Tom Hanks said working with Washington on Philadelphia was like “going to film school”. Hanks said he learned more about acting by watching Denzel than from anyone else.
5. He was at his mother’s beauty parlor, when a woman getting her hair done saw him and told someone to get her a piece of paper and she wrote at the top “Prophecy” and then wrote that Denzel would grow up and one day speak to millions. Denzel kept the bit of paper in his wallet. The woman was known as a prophetess in their church and community.
6. Though his first theatrical film was a comedy, Carbon Copy in 1981, he has only done three more since. Has mentioned that he’s always wanted to do a great one.
7. In 2006, Denzel’s son John David Washington was signed as a running back by the St. Louis Rams.
8. Broke the pinky finger of his right hand during a childhood basketball accident and never had it set correctly, resulting in the finger healing in a crooked position. The finger is still crooked to this day, bent at the bottom knuckle a full 45 degrees outward from his other fingers.
9. He became only the sixth actor to win both leading and supporting acting Oscars. The other five are Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon and Jack Nicholson.
10. To prepare for his role as boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter in The Hurricane, Washington worked out for a year with Los Angeles boxing trainer Terry Claybon.
11. Washington Received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Fordham University in New York City.
12. Denzel is named after his father who was in turn named after the doctor, Doctor Denzel, who had delivered him. Denzel always likes to say he and his dad’s names are pronounced differently, as his dad has the emphasis on the first syllable whereas Denzel the actor emphasizes the second.