Academy Award winner Denzel Washington is the father of four children, sons John and Malcolm and daughters Katia and Olivia Washington, whom he welcomed with his wife, Pauletta Washington.
The couple married in 1983 and welcomed children throughout their union. Their eldest child, John, was born in July 1984, followed by their second, Katia, in November 1987. Denzel and Pauletta’s twins, Olivia and Malcolm, arrived in April 1991.
John is the best known of the couple’s children, having established an acting career just like his famous father. He developed an interest in acting early and even appeared in some of his father’s movies in the 1990s.
The Los Angeles native began taking the profession seriously in 2010, having starred in several films including “Malcolm & Marie,” and has appeared alongside some of the industry’s elite actors who have worked with critically acclaimed filmmakers. as Christopher Nolan in 2020 and David O. Russell in 2022 for the movie “Amsterdam”.
He is best known for the movies “Tenet”, 2018’s “The Old Man & The Gun”, “Monster”, and the sports series “Ballers” which aired from 2015 to 2019. But only a few people know what the graduate of Morehouse College did before launching his acting career.
David’s childhood and football career
John was initially passionate about soccer and said it was the only way he could become independent other than being associated with his father.
The running back was signed by the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League in 2006 and later said he perceived the sport as therapeutic.
“I was able to express a lot of my frustrations. My anxieties, my resentment [about] how I was treated or looked at, because of who I was related to. I hated the word nepotism. I knew if I did well on the field, they can’t say my father did it,” John said in August 2018.
Ultimately, he achieved “success in the field”, which allowed him to gain recognition for his efforts. People saw him as an “individual” and said he constantly “needed that validation of independence.”
However, once his sports career began to take off, John couldn’t escape the fact that he would always be referred to as Denzel Washington’s son. “It’s not John David Washington running for 200 yards and five touchdowns. It’s Denzel’s son who rushes for 200 yards and five touchdowns. So, I see that this was going to be unavoidable,” he said.
John went undrafted in the 2006 NFL draft, but signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent. He parted ways with the team four months later, but re-signed with his practice squad.
Even when he signed with them, he emphasized that the press was still writing, “Denzel’s son makes the Rams!” It was then that he realized that being related to the filmmaker would always follow him and he decided to follow in his footsteps as an actor.
But it was not an easy transition. The rising star didn’t know where to start. In particular, John knew when he was five years old that he would one day become an actor. He remembered:
He also revealed that his parents were behind him and that his mother is his “biggest fan” while his father showed him “tough love.”
John’s first notable role was in “Ballers,” where he played Ricky Jerret, a competitive NFL star.” A family friend suggested that he audition for the role, but he was hesitant about it.
At the time, he was taking pain medication for his torn Achilles tendon and didn’t feel up to the challenge. Besides, he thought it would be wiser to study the ship before diving into it. However, his friend insisted that he could do both, so he took the plunge and arrived at the audition on crutches.
After a second audition, he was told by a woman that he shouldn’t play soccer again because he was born to act. “She believed in me. Eight auditions later, I got the job,” he recounted.
These days, John has his eyes on the stage and wants to “do Shakespeare” and perform live in the theater. That is your main goal.
Acting career and relationship with parents
John still spends time with his family. In fact, when the coronavirus pandemic began, he left his Brooklyn residence, returned home, and slept in his childhood bedroom.
She revealed that she helps with the cooking at home with her loved ones. During his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” guest host Samuel L. Jackson mentioned that John has good grilling skills.
Denzel woke up his son to watch the ads together. Upon hearing his son’s name, he hugged him tight “for what seemed like ten minutes,” John recounted.
Meanwhile, her essentially proud mom was on speakerphone while traveling to Chicago, and she cried after hearing the news. John remembered her telling him that she loved him and was proud of him.
While John’s parents couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments, he has also expressed his admiration for his father. When Denzel was named The Best Actor of the 21st Century by The New York Times, his beloved son said it was time to do it:
The “Man on Fire” star was emotional when he heard what his son had to say. “Wow, I’m speechless,” he said. When asked what he thought about his children’s career paths, he said that Hollywood should also “take care” of David’s sister, Olivia.