Handsome, charming and outgoing are words that best describe the character of Denzel Hayes Washington.
His unique charisma coupled with his unsullied acting skills has lit up the silver screens for a career spanning over three decades.
His ability to portray real-life characters and historical figures in the movies he has featured in has gone on to win him several awards, including three Golden Globe awards, two Academy Awards and a Tony Award.
A native of Mount Vernon, New York, Washington was born Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. to Denzel Hayes Washington Sr. and Lennis Lowe on December 28, 1954.
His father was an ordained Pentecostal preacher while his mother was a beautician. He has two siblings, Lorice Washington and David Washington.
He attended Pennington-Grime Elementary School in his hometown of Mount Vernon.
However, by the time he was 14, his parents parted ways, forcing him and his older sister to join a private preparatory school in New Windsor, New York.
As his story unfolded, the decision to join a boarding school was one that changed his life completely.
His gratitude to his mother was well-expressed when he stated in an interview,
“She got me off the streets, sending me to private school. That decision changed my life.”
After graduating from high school, Washington was interested in joining Texas Tech University simply because it had the same name as his Boys Club back at home, the Red Raiders.
As fate would have it, he joined Fordham University instead to study medicine.
His time at Fordham was not all rosy as his grades were not the best. This forced him to take a sabbatical as he pondered on his next step as far as his studies were concerned.
He returned with renewed vigor, graduating with a B.A in Drama and Journalism in 1977.
When asked about his initial course, Washington replied,
“I was studying medicine at college, but realized I didn’t want to be a doctor as I was not smart enough.”
His initial failure turned out to be a stepping stone to greater success. Offering words of wisdom to students at the Dillard University, Denzel stated,
“Don’t be afraid to fail big, to dream big,”
recalling his own situation when he was at Fordham.
Denzel Washington’s Career, Major Roles and Notable Achievements
According to Washington, he fell in love with acting by accident, stating
“Acting is something that I fell into”
After starring in several plays and made-for-television films, Washington made his Hollywood debut in 1981, appearing in the comedy film, Carbon Copy.
His first starring role came in 1982 when he featured in the television medical drama, St. Elsewhere.
His big break would come five years later in 1987 after receiving his first Academy Award nominations for his starring role in the movie Cry Freedom.
His portrayal of South African anti-apartheid hero Steve Biko won critical acclaims from all quarters.
Unfortunately, he failed to win the award. However, success would come two years later when he bagged an Oscars for best-supporting actor for his role in the American Civil War film, Glory.
Soon after, his career took a meteoric rise as he starred in romantic dramas, thrillers and movies based on true stories.
Some of his greatest performances include starring roles in Remember the Titans, American Gangster, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, The Hurricane, Man on Fire and Training Day.
His second Oscars came in 2001 for his starring role in the cop thriller Training Day. This achievement made him only the second African-American actor after Sidney Poitier to win an Oscars in a leading role.
Speaking about his achievement, Washington said,
“I don’t look at myself as a pioneer or a role model. What Sidney and I have in common is that we were recognized”
At 63 years, Denzel Washington’s career seems to have taken a short hiatus. His last movie, the Roman J. Israel Esq. was released in 2017. However, he is set to seek revenge in the upcoming sequel, the Equalizer 2 schedule for 2018.
Besides the critical acclaim of his works, Denzel is renowned for his famous goatee that highlights his good looks.
Named the Sexiest Man Alive by the People’s Magazine (1996), he is always touted as one of the most handsome African-American actors Hollywood has ever produced in recent times.
Denzel Washington is a role model to many African-Americans both in terms of character and style.
He normally interchanges between a full goatee and the pretty boy goatee, but he is more renowned for the former.
His style portrays a man who possesses a sense of malevolence and is sure about himself. Above all, his goatee adds to the menacing aspects of his roles in various movies he has starred in.
It’s important to note that distinct face shapes demand different beard styles. Normally, oval and slim faces are ideal for a goatee simply because they create a middle ground between all types of shapes.
They create the illusion of fullness while giving you a level of control.
Denzel Washington’s style is simple. You only need to allow your mustache to grow down and around the sides of your mouth.
Find your neckline and trim all the way down, leaving no facial hair unshaved except for the meticulous circular beard around your mouth. You may want to use a beard bib to avoid messing up your sink or bathroom floor for easy cleanups.
Photos from: s_bukley / depositphotos.com.