What Is Denzel Washington’s Net Worth?

When you think of legendary actors, it’s difficult not to include Denzel Washington on that list. Since the ’80s, the award-winning actor has provided audiences with intense performances that exude such emotion that it’s even difficult not to be moved by the powerful presence that is Denzel Washington. As an actor and a producer, he’s given us numerous shows and films that cut to the heart of human morality, creating substantial cinematic moments that have proven to stand the test of time.

After all the work the 66-year-old actor has put in during his time in Hollywood, it’s natural to assume that Washington is sitting on a reasonable amount of money, but just how much?

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on Dec. 28, 1954 to beauty salon owner Lennis and Pentecostal minister Denzel Washington, Sr. After his parents divorced, Washington’s mother sent him to the Oakland Military Academy in New Windsor, New York. Washington has mentioned on several occasions that this decision saved his life. In an interview with Parade, he confessed that before leaving for military school, he and his closest friends were headed down bad paths. The actor went on to reveal that those same friends later served about 40 years in prison altogether. Fortunately, thanks to his mother, Washington was able to avoid the same outcome.

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He went on to attend Fordham University in New York City and play collegiate basketball but decided to take a semester off to consider his future and figure out a major. That year, Washington worked at a YMCA summer camp and, after performing in a camp talent show, realized that he had a knack for acting. That’s what he was told by the campers and his fellow colleagues, anyway.

Driven by his newfound passion, Washington returned to Fordham the following semester and began to study drama. He then graduated with a bachelor’s in drama and journalism sometime around 1977. Continuing his education, Washington then accepted a full scholarship to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, but dropped out after only one year of enrollment.

Washington returned to New York soon after to pursue a professional career in acting. After several roles in stage plays, he began auditioning for minor film and made-for-TV roles. His first on-screen role came in 1977 with the movie Wilma, but it wasn’t until 1982 that Washington landed his breakout role of Dr. Phillip Chandler on the successful medical drama St. Elsewhere, which he acted in until the show’s finale in 1988.

During this budding time in his career, Washington also managed to land his first serious roles in projects like the anti-apartheid film Cry Freedom and Glory. The two films were actually the start of Washington’s award-winning streak, with Cry Freedom earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Glory earning him that same award in 1989.

In 1992, he appeared in the autobiographical film Malcolm X, which received the Best Actor nomination for his role as the civil rights activist. He then moved on to exhibit his acting versatility and basketball skills with the 1998 Spike Lee sports drama He Got Game in his iconic role as Jake Shuttlesworth opposite budding basketball star Ray Allen. In 1999, he earned a Golden Globe for his lead role in The Hurricane

In 2001, Washington took the lead role in the Disney football drama Remember The Titans, which earned him both a Black Reel Award and an NAACP Image Award, both for Best Actor. In 2002, he finally won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in 2001’s Training Day, which made him only the second African American actor to win the award. 

Washington has had a stellar career ever since, appearing in dozens of titles over the course of three decades. His resume includes Out of Time, Man On Fire, Fallen, The Siege, American Gangster, Flight, Crimson Tide, and Inside Man, to name a few.

In 2002, he decided to transition to being more work behind the camera and made his directorial debut with the film Antwone Fisher. He followed it up with The Great Debaters in 2007 and has since produced several films including The Book of Eli and The Equalizer.

Although not every movie has been a blockbuster success, Washington has been paid pretty handsomely for each of them, which has led him to amass a hefty fortune over the course of his career. According to Networth Bro, Washington currently earns anywhere from $60 to $80 million every year. The salary for his movies alone have ranged anywhere from $10 to $40 million per film.

Let’s take a look at some of the figures:

  • 1998 – Fallen: $12 million, Siege: $12 million
  • 1999 – The Hurricane: $10 million
  • 2001 – Training Day: $12 million
  • 2003 – Out Of Time: $20 million 
  • 2004 – Man of Fire: $20 million
  • 2007 – American Gangster: $40 million

This doesn’t even include John Q (2002), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), The Magnificent Seven (2016), or Safe House (2012). Whether it was Westerns, dramas, thrillers, action flicks, autobiographies, or just inspirational movies, Washington has had dozens of big-pocket pay days.

What is Denzel Washington’s net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Denzel Washington is currently worth a whopping $280 million, making him one of the richest African American actors in the world. The man is clearly not done yet, as he’s been behind the scenes of numerous modern titles including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Nomadland, Disney’s Soul, and the autobiographical Judas and The Black Messiah. With all the producing credits that Washington is getting nowadays, there’s a good chance that his fortune will continue to grow dramatically in the coming years.