Perhaps one of the most well-known actors of his generation is Denzel Washington. He paved the door for African-American actors to become well-known in Hollywood.
His mother, though, deserves credit for his accomplishment as well.
Denzel Washington did not lead a privileged life. His father was a minister who had two churches to manage, while his mother ran a hard-working salon.
The actor’s parents separated when he was just 14 years old. Lennis, his mother, was left to care for her three children by herself. And as Denzel became older, he understood that he would cause the most trouble for his mother.
He was impacted by his parent’s divorce and began encountering problems. He started mingling with the incorrect crowd. He now keeps track of which of his buddies have passed away, served 28 years in prison, 20 years, and 12 years respectively.
Yet his mother was desperate to stop her little son from going in the wrong direction. She transferred him from Oaklahoma to an upstate New York private school.
Even though Denzel tried his best to get his act together, he occasionally got into problems. The school would send him home, but his mother would make sure he returned straight away until he had developed the self-discipline to avoid getting into trouble.
The actor excelled in sports and joined a band. He realized his passion for and skill for the arts of performance. And he was well aware that his mother’s influence was the reason he came to enjoy acting.
The actor describes the days of his youth as “throwing rocks at the penitentiary,” but fortunately he never hit. He often recalls his mother’s words, “Son, you never know who is praying for you.” He fully believes this as he cannot fathom how he was able to keep himself out of jail.
Whenever the actor is posed with the question of what he would say to his younger self, he says he would tell himself to “listen to your mother!” Because without her, he is not sure whether he would have the comfortable life he has today!
In 2021, Washington lost his mother. She was 97 years old and had truly lived a long life. After her passing, Washington was a guest on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” where the host expressed his condolences to the actor.
The actor said he was grateful he and his siblings got to spend so much time with their mother while she was alive. Colbert then proceeded to remind Washington of something he had said earlier, “A mother is a son’s, first love.”
Washington further expanded on that quote and said, “a son, especially that first son, is a mother’s, last true love.”
Washington said this because he himself had seen how his wife Pauletta was incredibly soft when it came to their eldest son John David Washington. “He can do no wrong,” Washington said.
Washington grew emotional as he talked about his mother and expressed surprise at the sudden emotions he was experiencing. He shared that he had not even cried at his mother’s funeral. He reminded the audience to hug their loved ones while they were alive.
Washington credits his mother for teaching him the importance of family. He has been married to his wife Pauletta since 1983. The couple shares four children together, John, Katia, Malcolm, and Olivia.
Washington is not shy to express his love and admiration for his wife. He says she is a strong Christian who has instilled in their children the need for prayers and the bible.
As for what keeps their marriage strong, according to Washington, it is “lots of prayers.” He has often praised his wife Pauletta for being the rock of the family and the reason why all of them share such a solid bond.
The actor has said on occasion how much he enjoys rushing home from work to make sure he can watch his son’s games and spend time with his family. The actor has said, “Family is life. Acting is not life to me. It’s making a living.”
“Money doesn’t buy happiness but it’s a heck of a down payment. You soon realize you can only drive one car at a time. I have an Aston Martin but I prefer my truck. When you get older and wiser, you simplify. You don’t need as much. You have raised your children, and now you live through them. Their success is what’s important to me. I just won a Tony award for a Broadway show. Another Oscar would be nice. But I’d rather leave this earth as a successful parent than a successful actor,” the actor has said.
Washington has always remained modest despite his notoriety. The actor says that his mother kept his head from getting too big. He had no idea whose prayers had brought him to this point in his life, she would regularly remind him. To keep him in check, she gave him jobs like cleaning her windows.
He expresses gratitude to his mother for instilling manners and compassion in him. All of this is related to a confrontation he had with a homeless man in West Hollywood. While driving, the actor noticed a homeless man standing in the middle of a busy street. The actor immediately spun his car around to face the man.
Although the swift move was risky, he did it out of compassion for the homeless man and disregard for his own safety. The actor was successful in getting the man to safety, after which he made a police call and waited with him.
Washington offered the man a lunch and a mask to shield him from the Covid-19 virus while they waited. He assisted the man in giving a statement to the police when they arrived.
Mother of Denzel Washington would have been pleased with her son. He tries to assist anybody he meets and respects people from all walks of life. What a noble person.
Share this article with other Denzel Washington fans so they can get to know about him beyond the screen.