Deznel Washington is recognized as one of his generation’s best actors. The 61-year-old has two Oscars to show for it, along with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gold Globes. Washington’s second Oscar made him only the second black actor to win the Best Actor and first to do it since Sidney Poitier in 1964. He’s come a long way since starring on St. Elsewhere.
These days, Washington picks his films very carefully. He hasn’t starred in a movie since 2014’s The Equalizer. His next film is a remake of The Magnificent Seven, which was directed by Training Day‘s Antoine Fuqua (who also helmed The Equalizer. The Magnificent Seven hits theaters on September 23.
Washington’s popularity has made sure he’s well-paid. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has an estimated net worth of $190 million.
Here’s a look at how Washington earns his money and what he does with it.
1. Only Five of Washington’s Movies Made Over $100 Million
Surprisingly, despite his fame and stature in Hollywood, Washington has never made a traditional blockbuster that has grossed over $200 million. According to Box Office Mojo statistics, Washington’s highest-grossing film was Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, released by Universal in 2007. The film made $130 million domestically and $136 million in foreign territories.
Washington’s second-highest grossing film is 2012’s Safe House ($126.4 million). Remember The Titans ($115.6 million), The Equalizer ($101.5 million) and The Pelican Brief ($100.7 million) round out his personal Top 5.
Washington has been able to stay out of superhero genre and has never made a sequel. That’s about to change though, since he is working on The Equalizer 2 for Sony.
2. Washington Has Been the National Spokesman for The Boys & Girls Club Of America for Over 20 Years
Washington has never forgotten the importance of the Boys And Girls Club of America in his own life. He was a member of the Mount Vernon, New York chapter as a kid. In 1992, Washington announced that he was picked as the national spokesperson for the organization and made his first public service announcement the following year. He joined the Board of Governors in 1996 and was joined by Jennifer Lopez as co-spokesperson in 2010.
“You don’t have to be number one. You gotta be the best you that you can be,” Washington told the Boys And girls Club of Baton Rougue last year. “When I started off as an actor I said, ‘I wanna be the best actor in the world.’ Well, I won the Oscar – twice for what they considered to be best actor at the time – but I learned by that time it wasn’t about being the best actor in the world, it was about being the best that I could be. I want you all to be the best that you can be at whatever it is you choose to be.”
In April 2009, Washington heard about how the Roswell, New Mexico Boys And Girls Club was struggling. The actor, who was filming The Book of Eli at the time, donated $50,000 to help the club.
3. Washington Gave the Fisher House Foundation one of its Biggest Single Donations
In December 2004, Washington visited the Brooke Army Medical Center, where troops were being treated for injuries they got while serving in Afghanistan. There was an Internet rumor that, while he was there, Washington quickly took out a checkbook and made a big donation to Brooke and The Fisher House Foundation, which helps provide military families with housing.
In reality, Washington just vowed to help. Six months later, he did make the donation, the Houston Chronicle reported at the time. The Fisher House described the donation as one of the largest it had ever received, but would not reveal the exact amount.
“While we do not disclose the amount of a donation without approval from the donor, we can acknowledge that it is one of the most significant received in our history,” Fisher House Vice President James Weiskopf said at the time.
4. Washington Owns Beverly Park Mansion Worth $14.6 Million
Denzel Washington has a mansion in a Beverly Park community packed with famous faces. According to Forbes, the estate is 30,000-square-feet and is valued at $14.6 million. It has two entrances, a guesthouse, pool and tennis court. Washington’s home was once owned by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, Washington’s neighbors are just as famous, if not more so. Some of the other celebrities who live in the area are Sylvester Stallone and Eddie Murphy. Barry Bonds sold his home in the area for $22 million. 2 Guns co-star Mark Wahlberg also built a mansion in the area.
5. Washington Is Helping to Fulfill Obama’s Dream of a National Museum of African American History and Culture
President Barack Obama hoped to have the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture fully funded by the time he left the White House. While the federal government is paying for $270 million, the Smithsonian has had to reach out for contributions for the remaining $270 million. While most of that has been raised and the museum will open in September, there was still a few million dollars left to be raised.
So Washington took it upon himself to do it. In May 2016, Variety reported that Washington and his wife Pauletta raised $17 million by hosting an event at their home. Shonda Rhimes will donate $10 million herself.
“There is such a historical significance to this project. It means so much for our community, our country and to future generations,” Washington told Variety.
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