Denzel Washington, 67, is one of the most talented actors in the film industry but he’s also a doting dad to four children, who he shares with his wife Pauletta Washington, 72. The Training Day star and the actress welcomed son John David Washington, daughter Katia Washington, and twins Malcolm and Olivia Washington, over the course of their marriage, and they’ve become some pretty impressive individuals of their own.
Denzel’s eldest son has been a rising star in his own right. He starred in the 2022 film Amsterdam alongside major actors like Christian Bale and Margot Robbie. He plays the lawyer Harold Woodsmen, who’s suspected of murder in the case of a dead U.S. senator in the 1930s.
Find out more about Denzel and Pauletta’s kids from oldest to youngest below.
John is Denzel and Pauletta’s oldest child. He was born on July 28, 1984, just over a year after his parents got married. John took an interest in acting and sports early on and acted in a few of his dad’s films in the early 1990s before playing football when he attended Morehouse College. His skills led him to getting signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in the NFL in 2006 and was released that same year. He went on to play in NFL Europe for the Rhein Fire in 2007 and was drafted by the California Redwoods of the UFL in 2009. He played with the latter, which was renamed the Sacramento Mountain Lions until 2012.
In the early 2010s, John returned to acting and played in several other films such as Malcolm & Marie and the television series Baller from 2015 until 2019. He’s been appearing in plenty of movies with critically acclaimed filmmakers like Christopher Nolan in 2020, when he starred in Tenet. He worked with David O. Russell on his 2022 film Amsterdam.
John has been very open about following in his dad’s footsteps throughout his career. He admitted that he tries to put his acting ahead of worrying about his father’s thoughts on his performances in a September 2022 press conference speaking about his Broadway debut in The Piano Lesson, per People. “Am I nervous when [my father is] watching me on stage?” he said. “I don’t know if I have time to be nervous about what he thinks.” Although he did reveal the best advice he got from Denzel. “The freedom to fail, to find out, flourish in that failure. In that being uncomfortable, you’ll find the greatest parts of yourself as an artist,” he explained.
Despite speaking about the inspiration he found from his dad, John did open up about his father’s prominence in the film industry made him initially want to play football rather than act in an August 2021 interview with iNews. “Because of his position in the business, I became an introvert. I rebelled as a teenager, but I put that resentment into physical activity, which was football. It requires a helmet, so nobody sees your face. They see the name Washington, but they don’t know who you are. They don’t care,” he told the outlet.
Katia is Denzel and Pauletta’s second-born child. She was welcomed into the world on Nov. 27, 1986 and proved she’s just as impressive as her other family members when she earned a law degree from Yale University in 2010. She went on to work as a producer in Hollywood and has worked on various films, including Pieces of a Woman, Assassination Nation, and Fences. She also worked in the editorial department for Quentin Tarantino‘s movie Django Unchained.
Malcolm & Olivia
Malcolm and Olivia are twins and the youngest children of Denzel and Pauletta. They were born on Apr. 10, 1991 and have led busy and successful lives just like their siblings. Malcolm graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and played basketball at the school. He went on to work as a producer and director in the film industry and has worked on various productions. Some of his director credits include The Last Bookstore, Trouble Man and Benny Got Shot while some of his producer credits include North Hollywood, The Dispute and Summer of 17.
Olivia graduated from New York University and went on to work as a model and an actress. She has appeared in various films and television series, including Great Performances, She’s Gotta Have It, Chicago P.D., and Mr. Robot, Madoff.