HE GOT GAME
DENZEL WASHINGTON (Jake Shuttlesworth) won the Academy AwardÂ® as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Trip, an embittered runaway slave in "Glory," and also received two OscarÂ® nominations, for his portrayal of South African freedom fighter Steven Biko i
DENZEL WASHINGTON (Jake Shuttlesworth) won the Academy
Award® as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Trip, an embittered
runaway slave in "Glory," and also received two Oscar®
nominations, for his portrayal of South African freedom fighter
Steven Biko in Sir Richard Attenborough's "Cry Freedom"
and, most recently, for his portrayal of Malcolm X, the complex
black activist from the 1960s, in director Spike Lee's biographical
epic "Malcolm X." Washington previously starred for
Spike Lee in "Mo' Better Blues," playing Bleek Gilliam,
the womanizing trumpet player.
Throughout his career, Washington has continually sought out new
challenges, evidenced by his commanding performances and the colorful
array of characters he has made distinctly his own in diverse
film and stage portrayals. He recently starred in Greg Hoblit's
crime thriller "Fallen," and starred opposite Whitney
Houston in Penny Marshall's romantic comedy "The Preacher's
Wife," which Washington's Mundy Lane Entertainment produced.
In the summer of 1996, he starred in the critically acclaimed
military drama "Courage Under Fire," portraying Lt.
Colonel Nathaniel Serling, a tank commander in the Persian Gulf
War who is charged with investigating conflicting reports surrounding
the first female nominee for a Medal of Honor. The film was directed
by "Glory" director Ed Zwick, with whom Washington most
recently re-teamed to star in the terrorist thriller "Marshall
Law," tentatively set for release by the end of 1998.
Washington has also starred opposite Gene Hackman as Navy Lieutenant
Commander Ron Hunter in Jerry Bruckheimer's underwater adventure
"Crimson Tide," directed by Tony Scott; as ex-cop Parker
Barnes in the futuristic thriller "Virtuosity"; and
as World War II veteran Easy Rawlins in the 1940s-era romantic
thriller "Devil in a Blue Dress," produced with Jonathan
Demme's Clinica Estetico and Washington's Mundy Lane Entertainment.
In addition to his accomplishments on screen, Washington recently
took on a very different type of role as the 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."
Born in 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
theater productions 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. Upon graduating from Fordham,
Washington was accepted into San Francisco's prestigious American
Conservatory Theater. Following an intensive year of study in
its theater program, he returned to New York.
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 Chickens Came Home to Roost&
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