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Happy Birthday To Mount Vernon’s Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington turns 59 on Saturday
Denzel Washington turns 59 on Saturday Photo Credit:

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to Mount Vernon’s Denzel Washington.

Washington, who was born in Mount Vernon, turns 59 on Saturday.

The actor, director and producer was born Dec. 28, 1954.  He has received much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including for his portrayals of real-life figures such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone.

In 1987, Washington starred as South African anti-apartheid political activist Steven Biko in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom, for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1989 Washington won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing a defiant self-possessed ex-slave soldier in the film Glory. On May 18, 1991, Washington was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Fordham University, for having "impressively succeeded in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent". He also was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from Morehouse College on May 20, 2007. On May 16, 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2011 he donated $2 million to Fordham for an endowed chair of the theatre department, as well as $250,000 for a theatre-specific scholarship to Fordham.

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