Denzel Washington, a critically renowned actor who took on an immense range of roles in various popularly known feature films, died Tuesday night at his vacation home in Mailbu, California. He was 95.
Washington’s eldest son, John, notified reporters that Washington died surrounded by those whom he truly loved. No further information about the cause of death has been released.
Washington starred in many feature films, including “A Carbon Copy,” “Glory,” “American Gangster” and “Flight ”— all of which helped to firmly established his lasting legacy in the film world.
He was born in Mount Vernon, New York. His father, Denzel, was a Pentecostal minister while his mother, Lennis, worked as a beautician. He was the middle of three children.
Upon graduating high school, Washington enrolled at Fordham University with the intentions of pursuing a journalism career. After involving himself in various student drama productions, his interests shifted. Following his graduation, he decided that he no longer wanted to work as a journalist. He then enrolled in the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He would star in his first feature film several years later.
In 1981, Washington made his film debut with “A Carbon Copy.” He later starred in and won a best supporting actor Oscar for “Glory” (1989).
Washington additionally received much critical acclaim for his portrayal of human rights activist Malcom X in “Malcom” (1992). He received an Oscar nomination for best actor following the film’s release.
In 2001, he earned his second Oscar for his leading role in the film “Training Day.” A year later, he directed and co-starred in his own film, “Antwone Fisher.” Washington took part in many other successful films throughout his career, including “American Gangster” in 2007, where he played Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas, and “Flight” in 2012. He received an Academy Award nomination for his role in “Flight.”
Washington continued to star in and direct many films throughout the remainder of his film career, even mentoring aspiring actors and actresses at the age of 90. His various roles, his distinguished stage presence and his undying appetite for film itself will never be forgotten.
Washington was not just an incredible actor, but an incredible son, father, husband and friend. He is survived by his wife, Pauletta Washington, and his two sons, John and Malcom, and two daughters, Katia and Olivia.