Denzel Washington

Washington in 2010, photo by Helga Esteb /

Birth Name: Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr.

Place of Birth: Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: December 28, 1954

Ethnicity: African-American

Denzel Washington is an American actor, filmmaker, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Glory (1989), and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Training Day (2001). He has also starred in Malcolm X, Courage Under Fire, Fences, American Gangster, Flight, The Equalizer, and The Tragedy of Macbeth, among many other films, and directed dramas Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters, and Fences.

Denzel is African-American. He is the son of Lennis (Lowe) and Denzel H. Washington, a Pentecostal preacher. His father was born in Virginia and his mother was born in Georgia. Denzel is married to actress and singer Pauletta Pearson Washington (born Pauletta Rachelle Pearson), with whom he has four children, including actor and football player John David Washington.

Denzel was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1996. He is the first man of significant African ancestry, and the first non-white man, to have been given this title by the magazine (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in 2016, is the second, and Idris Elba, in 2018, John Legend, in 2019, and Michael B. Jordan, in 2020, are the others, fitting both criteria).

Denzel’s paternal grandfather was William Washington (the son of William Washington, Sr. and Margaret Johnson). Denzel’s grandfather William was born in Virginia. Denzel’s great-grandparents William and Margaret were born into slavery.

Denzel’s paternal grandmother was Virginia Page (the daughter of Herod “Harry” Page and Lucia “Louise”/”Louesa”/Louisa Rain/Rayn/Rayne). Denzel’s grandmother Virginia was born in Virginia.

Denzel’s maternal grandfather was named Tillman/Tilman Lowe/Low. Tillman was born in Georgia.

Denzel’s maternal grandmother was named Eliza Jackson (the daughter of William Jackson and Rachel). Eliza was born in Georgia. William and Rachel were born into slavery.

Sources: Article about Denzel’s family history –

Genealogy of Denzel Washington (focusing on his father’s side) –

Denzel’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Denzel’s paternal great-grandparents, William Washington, Sr. and Margaret Johnson, on the 1870 U.S. Census –

Denzel’s paternal grandmother, Virginia Page, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Denzel’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

33 Responses

  1. dlxzvs says:

    correction the word caucasian should be changed to white or european

  2. andrew says:

    Herod “Harry” Page was the son of Nathaniel Page and Sarah Williams

    Virginia Page on Census:

  3. andrew says:

    family history:

    Denzel’s paternal great-grandfather, William Washington, on the 1870 U.S. Census:

    there are links to many other records

  4. cwm85 says:

    I bet Denzel is at least 70 percent African. He certainly has a certain European look about himself tho. Hard to explain but some of his features are European with dark brown skin. I can certainly understand how he’s been able to play mainstream, lead actor roles in so called, “white films”

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