Denzel Washington is one of those performers who does not require an introduction. His accolades and ground-breaking films speak for themselves.
But his recognition and fortune did not come easily. Washington was raised by a strict and hardworking mother. His father was a hard worker as well; he was a preacher with two churches, and his mother ran a beauty shop.
Unfortunately, Washington’s parents split when he was 14 years old, leaving him and his brothers to be raised by their mother, Lennis.
However, Washington stated that, of the three children his parents had, he was the one who caused the most trouble for his mother.
Following his parents’ divorce, Washington rebelled and became connected with the wrong crowd. He admitted that one of his buddies was killed, another was imprisoned for 28 years, another for 20 years, and another for 12 years.
When his mother recognized her kid was on a dangerous path, she relocated him from Oklahoma to a private school in upstate New York.
This is where Washington turned a new leaf in his life, although it was not always easy. The actor said that he would still get into enough trouble to be sent home, but his mother would send him back until he perfected his act.
He excelled in athletics and was a member of a band. This is when Washington realized his passion for the arts and performing. But he does not believe he would have achieved these things without the help of his beloved mother.
Washington said he was “throwing rocks at the institution,” but he never hit anyone. The “Man on Fire” actor will never forget his mother’s comments, “Son, you never know who is praying for you,” since he considers it a miracle that he did not wind up in prison like his pals.
When asked what advice he would offer his 15-year-old self, he frequently chuckles in astonishment and exclaims, “Listen to your mother!” because he does not know whether he would have the nice life he presently has without her.
Washington’s mother died in 2021 at the age of 97. When the actor appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the presenter consoled him for his loss.
He was grateful that he and his siblings were able to spend so much time with their mother while she was still living. While discussing a mother’s affection, Colbert quoted Washington, saying, “A mother is a son’s first love.”
“A son, especially that first son, is a mother’s final, genuine love,” Washington continued. This came after Colbert asked the actor how he honors his mother and the love she provided for his children.
The actor revealed that he has observed his wife Pauletta being overly gentle with their eldest child, John David Washington. “He can’t do anything wrong,” Washington remarked.
Washington, on the other hand, couldn’t completely talk about a mother’s love without crying. He also stated that he was astonished by his outpouring of emotion because he did not cry at his mother’s death. However, the actor advised the audience to embrace their loved ones while they were still alive.
Washington attributes his appreciation for the family to his mother. He and his wife Pauletta have been married since 1983, and they have four children: John, Katia, Malcolm, and Olivia. The actor is ecstatic about his strong-willed wife. He claims she is a Christian who has instilled in all of their children the importance of prayer and the Bible.
“Lots of prayers,” the actor answered when asked what keeps a marriage together. Pauletta is the Washington family’s anchor and the cause of their close-knit brood.
Nothing beats going home after work to watch his son’s games and spend time with his family, according to Washington. “Family is everything.” To me, acting is not a way of life. “It’s a way of life,” the actor stated.
Another aspect of Washington that he attributes to his mother is his humility. He recalled a time in his career when he was just starting out.
The “Equalizer” actor said he returned home to demonstrate his fame, but his mother put him straight back in his place, reminding him that he had no idea whose prayers had gotten him to where he was. Then he was ordered to clean the windows.
Even when he was older and more successful, Lennis still advised Washington to look deeper within himself in order to live a decent life, which is when the actor chose to stop drinking.
Washington thanks his mother for teaching him to be a good guy, and his acts demonstrate that he has a huge heart. While traveling through West Hollywood, the actor observed a homeless man in the middle of a busy roadway.
Washington did not hesitate; he parked on the side of the road and risked his life to save the life of another. Even though it was hard to move around on a busy road with a lot of traffic, the actor was able to get the guy safely off the road.
But Washington did not stop there; he phoned the police and waited with the man. The police held him for no apparent reason, and the actor remained with him and assisted in giving the authorities a statement.
Washington stood by his side, consoling him during his interrogation. He even provided the man with a lunch and a face mask to keep the coronavirus at bay.