3. Denzel Washington
On December 28, 1954, Denzel was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the son of a Pentecostal minister and his mother was a beauty shop owner. In addition, he has two siblings. Around the age of 7 or 8, he played in a talent show at his local Boys & Girls club. When his parents separated, he and his older sister were sent away to boarding school. He went on to later attend college at Fordham University. At first, he did not thrive academically, so he chose to take some time off. After some time he chose to go back to Fordham where he decided to pursue acting.
He has made a feature debut in the comedy A Carbon Copy from 1981, and was cast on the TV show St. Elsewhere which aired from 1982-1988. A few hit movies he played a role in include Philadelphia, Man on Fire, The Book of Eli, American Gangster and Flight. He has also won Oscars for the roles he played in the movies Training Day and Glory.
Washington had an interview with Michael Hainey for GQ Magazine and spoke with him about how he had an “intense encounter” with the Holy Spirit in his twenties. He reads the Bible every day as well as his Daily Word. He has attended the same church for the past 30 years and is deeply devoted to his faith. Being that his father has his own church and was a minister, it was not hard for him to remain faithful to his religion. In a 1999 interview he said, “A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising.’ “I’ve had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach. I take what talent I’ve been given seriously, and I want to use it for good.”