19 Amazing Quotes by Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington with a smile

Quotes by Denzel Washington: Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, director, and producer. He has been described as an actor who reconfigured “the concept of classic movie stardom”, associating with characters defined by their grace, dignity, humanity, and inner strength.  He has received seventeen NAACP Image Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards from nine nominations: Best Supporting Actor for playing Union Army soldier Private Trip in the historical drama film Glory (1989), and Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001). In 2020, The New York Times ranked him as the greatest actor of the twenty-first century. We hope you enjoy our list of the best Denzel Washington quotes below.

Common Questions about Denzel Washington

What was Denzel Washington’s first film?

Denzel Washington’s feature-film debut was the 1981 comedy Carbon Copy, in which he plays the illegitimate African American son of a white business executive played by George Segal.

Where did Denzel Washington grow up?

Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York, in 1954 and grew up there until age 14, when he was sent to a boarding school by his parents. He later graduated from Fordham University, in 1977, where he studied journalism.

Our Favorite Quotes by Denzel Washington

“Do what you gotta do so you can do what you wanna do.”

“What it taught me was forgiveness. It taught me that when people present themselves in a certain way, there's probably some back story or issue or reason for the way that they are. It's not you. It's them. And a lot of times, its about something that's completely out of their control”

“So you never know who you touch. You never know how or when you'll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else"

“At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about what you've done with those accomplishments. Its about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It about what you've given back"

“If you have an enemy, then learn and know your enemy, don't just be mad at him or her”

“We do what we have to so we can do what we want to.”

“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.”

“Old man’s gotta be the old man, fish has gotta be the fish. You gotta be who you are in this world, no matter what.”

“Don't get all sentimental on me, Makes me think I'm gonna die.”

“A wise woman knows the importance of speaking life into her man. If you love him; believe in him, encourage him and be his peace.”

“You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That's a part of it.”

“Just because you are doing a lot more doesn't mean you are getting a lot done. Don't confuse movement with progress!”

“So you never know who you are going to touch. You never know how or when you'll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else"

“Don't tell me what they said about me. Tell me why they were so comfortable to say it to you.”


“Fall forward!”

Don't just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.”

“Success? I don't know what that word means. I'm happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody's eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That's a good day for me.”

“There are two kinds of pain in this world. The pain that hurts, the pain that alters.”

“I say luck is when an opportunoty comes along, and you're prepared for it.”