Nov 16, 2020

Denzel Washington’s Net Worth in 2020

Kristin Kerr

oday, Denzel Washington’s Net Worth sits at earns approximately $250 million, and he makes $60 million each year. How did he get here? Let’s take a look at his early beginnings and what the star is up to today. From Magnificent Seven to Malcolm X, Remember the Titans, Inside Man and Flight, the actor, director, and producer is well on his way to his third Oscar. He’s put on some of the most incredible performances of the last several decades and is often associated with characters who carry grace, dignity, and inner strength. This actor is Denzel Washington. Since 1977, Washington has professionally pursued acting and received several NAACP Image Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Tony Awards, and Academy Awards. 

Denzel Washington Portrait

Early Beginnings

Born in Mount Vernon, New York in December of 1954, Denzel grew up with his parents until they divorced when he was 14. His mother was a beauty salon owner, and his father was a Pentecostal minister. Following his parent's divorce, Denzel associated himself with a not-so-good group of friends, which later on went to serve about 40 years in prison. Luckily, Denzel’s mother sent him to a Military Academy in Oakland following the divorce which helped Denzel avoid going down the same path as his friends. 

After attending Oakland Military Academy, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University in New York City and played college basketball. It was during this phase of life Denzel was unsure about his future and what he wanted to major in. And yes, if you’re wondering, this is where the acting comes into play. As he pondered what his future would look like, he spent some time working at a YMCA camp and also performed in a camp talent show. A colleague suggested he take up acting and the rest was history. Following the YMCA camp, he decided to enroll in drama and journalism. He graduated with his bachelor's in both in 1977. 

Career Takeoff

Even though Denzel had been selected for a comprehensive scholarship to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, he had a change of heart and decided to pursue acting professionally in New York. This led to his first on-screen role, where he played in the movie Wilma in 1977. He landed an even bigger role in 1982 when he played Dr. Phillip Chandler for a medical drama called St. Elsewhere. The show ran for six years and it goes without saying that Denzel Washington’s Net Worth was only going up from there. 

Denzel Washington in 1977

A Rising Star

It didn’t take long for Denzel to become globally recognized for his outstanding performance in the box office hit movies, like Malcolm X, The Pelican Brief, Philadelphia, and Courage Under Fire. One of the major contributors to Denzel Washington’s Net Worth was for the 1995 film Virtuosity where he took home $7.5 million. Shortly after this release, Denzel took home an Oscar for his performance in 2001’s Training Day. 

The Awards Continue

Denzel Washington has received a number of awards throughout his acting career, all of which have contributed to Denzel Washington’s Net Worth.

1988: Denzel had an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the anti-Apartheid film Cry Freedom

1989: Denzel won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Glory

1992: Denzel was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Malcolm X

1999: Denzel won a Golden Globe for The Hurricane

2002: Denzel won the Academy Award for Best Actor in Training Day

2002: Denzel won a Black Reel Award and NAACP Image Award for Best Actor 

2016: Denzel won the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globe Awards

Denzel Washington accepting Golden Globe Award

Educational Journey

As outlined above, Denzel actually never completed graduate school, but he did manage to obtain three honorary doctorate degrees. These include an alma mater from Fordham University, an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Morehouse College, and an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Stepping Behind The Camera

After being the lead star in several films, Denzel took on the role of directing and producing for several films in 2002. Since 2002, Denzel has successfully directed The Great Debaters and Fences. In addition, he also produced The Book of Eli, The Equalizer, and multiple television series, all of which have played a big part in Denzel Washington’s Net Worth, which continues to grow.

Denzel Washington character collage

Marriage Details

Aside from Denzel Washington’s Net Worth making a big break from the 1977 film Wilma, he also met his wife here while working on set. Denzel and Pauletta Pearson married in 1983 and have had four children since. 

Life in Church

Since a young age, Denzel has practiced Christianity. This passion also led him to hold an interest in becoming a preacher and pursue a life in a church. Because this would also mean he would have to leave acting to do this, he decided to keep his life in Hollywood, but Denzel still reads the bible daily.

Denzel Washington outside of church

Giving Back

Yes, Denzel Washington’s Net Worth has grown over the years, but so has his passion for practicing philanthropy and giving back to his community and worthy organizations. Since 1993, Denzel has taken on the role of spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Club of America. He has also been on the board for the Boys & Girls Club of America since 1995. In addition, Denzel has donated substantial amounts of money to Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, Fordham University, the Fisher House Foundation, and Wiley College. 

Real Estate

Oh yes, how could we forget? With Denzel Washington’s Net Worth constantly growing, where does he reside? His primary residence is in Los Angeles, Beverly Park, and spans over 28,500 square feet. The property is equipped with an outdoor pool, 8 bedrooms, and 14 bathrooms. This exclusive area of Beverly Hills, California is also home to Eddie Murphy, Mark Wahlberg, and several other tech billionaires. He previously owned a different L.A. home in Toluca Lake. 

Palacial Mansion owned by Denzel Washington

Another property Denzel formerly owned was an 8,230 square-foot home in Briar-cliff Manor in New York. This home was the residence of Denzel’s character in American Gangster. The home is representative of the 1920s and includes chestnut floorboards, a greenhouse, and English pine forest. 

Lastly, Denzel also owns a yacht that is stored at St. Bart’s, which he uses for romantic getaways with his wife from time to time. 

A Shining Star

Denzel Washington truly represents a rare talent who has over the years become one of the most bankable movie stars in Hollywood. Though he’s been known to avoid movie sequels and superhero films, it doesn’t mean his movies can’t be re-watched on repeat for years to come. It seems you’ll always find a newfound respect for the actor’s talent and passion for what he does. 

Denzel Washington headshot
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