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HE GOT GAME

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 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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