From civil rights activist Malcolm X to wrongly imprisoned boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Denzel Washington has given a number of memorable performances over his 30-plus year career. Tour through our photo gallery of Washington’s 20 greatest movies ranked from worst to best.
Washington snagged his first Oscar nomination exactly 30 years ago: Best Supporting Actor for “Cry Freedom” (1987). It was a mere two years later when Washington won that category for “Glory” (1989). And he made history 12 years after that when “Training Day” made him the first black actor since Sidney Poitier (“Lilies of the Field” in 1963) to win in the lead category. How much longer will he have to wait to add a third trophy to his shelf?
Washington is now the most nominated actor of color in Oscar history. But do all of his nominated roles make the cut on our list of his all-time best? Take a look through our gallery of Denzel Washington’s 20 greatest performances, including some for which he should have gotten Oscar consideration.
– Original text and gallery published in January 2018.