There are many who will argue that Denzel Washington is the greatest actor of his error — some have even suggested that he is the greatest ever. I am not here to make an argument either way. I am here to talk about the fact that Denzel’s impact in the world film is represented in the wealth that he has been able to amass over the years. According to a number of celebrity sites, including Bankrate, Denzel’s net worth is estimated at $220 million. Now, that is nothing to sneeze at. We are aware that accomplished actors can be paid quite handsomely for their work. In fact, at a certain point in his career, Denzel joined the famed club, known as the $20 Million Club — in which all members demand a minimum of $20 million per film.
It does not take a great deal of speculation to come to a conclusion of how Denzel was able to achieve a net worth of $220 million. He has literally been in the game nearly 40 years. His career began in 1981 when he appeared in his first featured film, “ Carbon Copy.” He would go on to land a recurring role on the television drama, St. Elsewhere. He would be a mainstay on St. Elsewhere for nearly eight years. It was his decision to leave that medical drama that ended up catapulting his career into the stratosphere.
In 1989, Denzel would give an unforgettable performance in his role in the movie glory. Many thought that he would land an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He did not get the Oscar, but he did send notice to the movie industry that he was a force to be reckoned with. During the 1990s, Denzel would establish himself as a consummate professional and someone exceptionally skilled in his craft. The list of movies in the 90s reads like a list of whose who, including Malcolm X (1992), Philadelphia (1993), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), The Bone Collector (1999), and more.
He entered into the 21st Century poised to finally lay hold of that most coveted prize, the Oscar. In 2001, he would do just that. He received an Academy Award for his role as a corrupt cop in the Movie Training Day. While there were a lot of his fans who were not happy that it took him playing such as bad character for him to get an Oscar. Others were more than satisfied that a Black man had finally landed the Best Actor Oscar.
Denzel would leverage is a new status as an Oscar Award winner to land even more high-paying roles. Over the last decade and a half, Denzel has definitely slowed the pace at which he stars in movies, but that does not mean that he has been idle. In between shooting Antoine Fisher, Unstoppable, Flight, and Equalizer, Denzel went on Broadway. Not only did he give masterful performances, but he would stay after each show for an hour and a half to sign autographs.
Most recently, he received a great deal of acclaim in his role in the movie Fences, and he put forth another installment of The Equalizer, which was a solid follow up to the original. I guess if you are going to attempt a sequel, it does not hurt to have Denzel running lead.
While Denzel has proven to be quite the philanthropist, he has also proven that he knows how to manage his money. It is quite common to hear about actors and other celebrities who make large amounts of money over their career and end up broke. If anything, Denzel slowing down in the later years of his career has not resulted in the diminishing of his wealth. He appears to still be growing his net worth. It is clear that the vast majority of his net worth was produced through his work as an actor, and it is likely that he still has some more quality work to put in front of the world. Denzel has definitely put in the work to be recognized as one of the best to ever do it, and it is only fair that his bank account is reflective of his effort and commitment. I am sure that there are other endeavors as an executive producer and even a venture capitalist, but if it were not for acting we would definitely not be having this conversation. I guess when you are getting paid $20 million per movie, it is not a far stretch to accumulate $220 million.
Written by Rick Wallace
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