American actor, producer, screenwriter, and director, Denzel Washington had roles throughout his career which fit best with resilient, powerful characters in racial and dramatic themed movies, one of them being Malcom X. The 90's saw Washington in other notable titles such as The Pelican Brief, Crimson Tide, Courage under Fire and The Hurricane, reaching for a Golden Globe for best actor. But he's come a long way since the 90's. While in 2013 his fortune was estimated at $140 million, in 2016, before his last two movies, it was more than doubling at $190 million. After the release of The Magnificent Seven and Fences in late 2016, there are no doubts that Denzel Washington's net worth went past the $200 million mark. It is now at $250 million.
On December 28, 1954, Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York.
His mother, Lennis Washington, was an owner and operator of a local beauty parlor.
His father, Denzel Hayes Washington Sr. worked at the New York City Water Department, as well as at a local S. Klein departmental store. Denzel Hayes Washington Sr. was also an ordained Pentecostal priest who ensured that his children had a strong Christian upbringing. Denzel Washington has confessed in numerous interviews that he wanted to become a priest at some point, and that he hasn't given up on his dreams yet.
Denzel Washington attended Pennington-Grimes Elementary School, based in Mount Vernon. His parents divorced when he was 14 and Washington had to move with his mother. His mother sent him to Oakland Military Academy, a private preparatory school based in New Windsor, New York. Denzel has praised that decision in some of his interviews, claiming that the company he hanged out with at Mount Vernon before the Academy could have seen him wound up in jail or dead.
Between 1970 and 1971, Washington attended the Mainland High School located in Daytona Beach, Florida.
He proceeded to Fordham University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Journalism. He graduated in 1977 with a degree after a period of indecision on which major to study. The suggestion to follow acting came from a friend, while they were on a YMCA summer camp.
Denzel Washington began his acting career at the Lincoln Center campus at Fordham, where he was mostly given small acting roles. His acting career kicked off in 1981, when he debuted in the film Carbon Copy and a year later, starred in Licence to Kill.
But his career gained momentum through his role in the television hospital drama St. Elsewhere, which ran between 1982 and 1988. During that period he also starred in films like A Soldier's Story, Hard Lessons and 1987's Cry Freedom, the latter bringing Washington his first Oscar nomination.
Denzel continued to grow his brand and in 1989, he wasn't just nominated, he actually won his first Academy Award under the category Best Supporting Actor in the film Glory. Denzel has since acted in more than 50 movies.
Denzel Washington received his next Oscar in 2001 for his leading role as a dirty, unethical cop in the thriller Training Day. He also accumulated his wealth in the following years by starring in some great films such as American Gangster, The Book of Eli, Safe House, Flight and The Equalizer.
The 2012 action thriller Safe House for example, brought him a $20 million paycheck.
One of his latest films, The Magnificent Seven, grossed until the end of 2016 more than $90 million in the US and a total of over $160 million worldwide.
One of his passions since the time when he was in Fordham University, was theater. During his career as a movie star, he still kept theater close, and appeared in several plays. But Denzel Washington is also a director of the movie Antwone Fisher in 2002. His next works as a director were The Great Debaters in 2007 and the 2016 drama Fences.
The fact that Denzel Washington does have other sources of income will add immensely to his net worth.
Denzel Washington has a net worth of $250 million, as of August 1, 2020. He has made much of his wealth from acting and screenwriting, as well as film directing and production.
Reports indicate that Denzel Washington gets between $60 and $80 million in annual salary from his movies, and has earned an average of $20 million per movie over the last decade. In 1995, he earned $7.5 million from the film Virtuosity.
Three years later, Washington took home $12 million each for his role in the films Fallen and The Siege. He would make another $12 million in the 2001's crime thriller, Training Day.
According to reports, Denzel Washington made $38 million in 2006 and $33 million in 2013, in movie salary alone. Washington is also one of the few actors to have earned twice for the same movie. He was first paid for the film American Gangster in 2004 before the movie got scrapped.
American Gangster would later be revived in 2007, and Washington got paid again. He reportedly earned $40 million from the movie. Another commercially successful movie by Denzel Washington is the 2015 film The Equalizer, where the actor reportedly took home $20 million.
Not much is known of Denzel Washington's real estate investments, except for his Beverly Hills mansion that's valued at $14.6 million. The 30,000 square feet property includes a huge eight-bedroom house and features a large swimming pool, a tennis court, a guest house, many incredible amenities and even his film production offices.
In terms of cars, he's owned a few Aston Martins, a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Lamborghini and several classics which is not surprising considering the wealthy actors' roles over the years!