He’s one of the taller Oscar-winning Best Actors, just a hair shorter than Jeff Bridges and Daniel Day-Lewis, who are both around 6 foot 1 inch. But Denzel Washington stands above fellow actors Russell Crowe (5 foot 11 inches) and Jamie Foxx (5 foot 9 inches).
While filming a fight scene for “Safe House,” co-star Ryan Reynolds accidentally gave Washington a black eye. “I felt my head connect with something tall, dark, and expensive. It was pretty awful,” he joked.
The 58-year-old Washington is one of the most critically acclaimed actors working in Hollywood today. Born December 28, 1954, he grew up in Mount Vernon, New York before studying acting in Manhattan and San Francisco. His big break came on the TV series “St. Elsewhere,” and he quickly moved onto high-profile films.
He has two Academy Awards under his belt – for “Glory” and “Training Day.” And for the 2013 Oscars, he’s nominated again for his performance in “Flight.”
It’s not just Denzel Washington’s physical height that causes him to stand head and shoulders above other actors.
1. Denzel Washington in "John Q"
"John Q" may not have sat well with critics but it brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it! "I'm his father, it's my job to protect him," declared Washington as he waved a gun in the air. His delivery during the climax of the film is one-of-a-kind!
2. Denzel Washington in "Training Day"
Oh Alonzo! Denzel snagged an Academy Award for his unprecedented performance as a corrupt cop in "Training Day," but not only did he bring home the coveted gold statue, he extended the bounds of our appreciation for his talent.
3. Denzel Washignton in "Glory"
There is nothing glorious about being a slave or being whipped for deviance, but Denzel captured the essence of a bruised man in his performance in "Glory." His single shall forever remain in history as one of the most touching moments in cinema.
4. Denzel Washignton in "The Hurricane"
The compelling speech at the end of "The Hurricane" rendered Denzel Washington number one on my best actors list. It was the first film of his that I seen and since then I can't get the sincerity of his delivery out of my mind.
5. Denzel Washington in "American Gangsta"
From cop to drug dealer, Denzel transformed his entire being for the role of Frank Lucas. He brought a likeable feature to the character, so much so, that despite the damage his character did on the community in the film, people didn't want him to go to jail at the end.
6. Denzel Washington in "Philadelphia"
Denzel's craft allowed him to portray a homophobic lawyer along-side Tom Hanks in the classic film"Philadelphia." His role not only won awards but changed the outlook of homophobic people around the world. It promoted love and acceptance in the gay community. That darn Denzel, always spreading peace!
7. Denzel Washignton in "Crimson Tide"
As Lt. Commander Ron Hunter, Denzel embodied the vigor and persistence of an army general dedicated to doing the right thing whether or not he had the support from his squadron. In the famous "confrontation" scene, Hunter goes against his captain's wishes to launch nuclear missiles, despite what it will cost him in the long run!
8. Denzel Washington in "He Got Game"
As the father of the most sought after ball player in the country, Denzel brought to life the struggles and triumphs of a convicted felon in the Spike Lee-directed "He Got Game."
9. Denzel Washington in "The Great Debators"
What makes a great leader isn't only their knowledge, but how they share and spread their knowledge so it manifests. Denzel, in a more mild manner than we've seen him before, did just that in the "The Great Debaters." He took a group of young black teens into his arms and breathed the gift of debate into their lungs. Another great Denzel film!