Since rising to fame, Denzel Washington has cemented his status as one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors. But for the star, he’s created a more meaningful legacy as the father of his kids, John, Katia, Malcolm and Olivia.
Denzel shares his four children with his wife, Pauletta Washington. The Equalizer actor and the Wilma actress married in 1983 and started their family the following year when their eldest son, John, arrived in 1984. John’s birth was followed by Katia in 1987, and their twins, Malcolm and Olivia, in 1991.
The Training Day actor was fortunate enough to give his kiddos everything they wanted when they were growing up, but Denzel and Pauletta didn’t raise their children to be spoiled. The film icon said they tried to instill “positive influences” in John, Katia, Malcolm and Olivia.
“In our case: church, school, humility, volunteering … the importance of helping others,” he told the Guardian in 2010. “My children are good people. They are not perfect, but they are generous and humble and kind.”
Considering Denzel was juggling his role as a dad while starring in showbiz, he credited Pauletta for giving their kids the most “normal life” possible. “My wife’s done a great job. She’s been the consistent one,” he told Reader’s Digest in August 2020.
“If you have kids, you know there is no style! It’s a hybrid,” the Academy Award winner continued. “It’s what my wife and I learned from our parents, and applying religious instruction, discipline, athletic activity and academic excellence whenever possible.”
Even though Denzel and Pauletta experienced bumps in the road like every other parent, they are proud of how well their kiddos turned out. Looking back, the American Gangster star’s son John is super appreciative of his dad’s parenting techniques.
“I think children are born good. But a child doesn’t know right from wrong, so moral instruction is important,” he told the Guardian. “I remember my eldest boy saying ‘Dad, I always thought you were so strict ― now I appreciate it.’ Free will can be a double-edged sword. By the age of 21, my son could see that.”
When it comes to his children and their acting endeavors, Denzel is their biggest cheerleader. During a January 2021 interview on Good Morning America, he gushed about his family and all of the tremendous things they have accomplished in Hollywood.
“I’m a dad so I’m gonna keep saying it: Olivia Washington is a great young actress. Very, very, very good young actress, so she’s coming for her brother [John David]” he said. “It’s a team sport in our house. My wife was a child prodigy — concert pianist, Van Cliburn competitor and singer and actress. My daughter Katia is a producer — she produced Malcolm & Marie and Assassination Nation and others. My baby boy, Malcolm, is a director and a producer.”
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about Denzel’s four kids!
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