Denzel Washington "St. Elsewhere" (1981-88) Pre-Op: The 54-year-old Washington studied acting at Fordham University and was given a scholarship to attend graduate school at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater. He stayed for one year and then set out for New York to become a professional. He made his pro acting debut in the 1977 TV movie "Wilma" and then made his feature debut in the dreadful 1981 comedy "Carbon Copy," playing George Segal's son. Scrubs: Though the NBC series "St. Elsewhere" was never a ratings success, the well-acted drama had a strong and loyal core following, especially for Washington's resident Dr. Phillip Chandler. While making the rounds on "St. Elsewhere," Washington appeared in the Oscar-nominated 1984 film "A Soldier's Story" - he also appeared in the theatrical version at the Mark Taper Forum - and received his first Oscar nod for supporting actor as Steve Biko in 1987's "Cry Freedom." Post-Op: Washington has become one of the most successful stars currently on screen, winning an Oscar for supporting actor for 1989's "Glory" and for best lead actor for 2001's "Training Day." He has directed two films, "Antwone Fisher" and "The Great Debaters" and was recently seen in "American Gangster" and "The Taking of Pelham 123."
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times