Denzel Washington will be awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 10, 2016. This news comes in the aftermath of awarding director and long time friend Spike Lee an honorary Oscar.
The latest award adds to the two Golden Globes he already owns for his roles in Glory and The Hurricane. The organization behind The Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, states that the award is given to those who have “demonstrated outstanding achievement in film and television entertainment.” Denzel Washington’s career has been more than outstanding— it’s been unprecedented for most actors, Black or white. Washington will be only the third Black recipient of The Cecil B. DeMille Award in its 63-year history, joining Sidney Poitier in 1982 and his Glory co-star, Morgan Freeman in 2012.
“Washington’s long and storied career is earmarked by his countless roles in front and behind the camera,” said Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in a press release. “It is the HFPA’s privilege to honor his contributions to the entertainment industry with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.”
Washington is not only a walking accolade, he’s living Black and film history. He holds the record for most Academy Award nominations for an African-American actor with six nominations and two wins, one for Best Supporting Actor in Glory, and one for Best Actor in Training Day. His win in 2001 for Training Day ended a bewildering 38-year gap between Black actors winning in the Best Actor category. Sidney Poitier was the first Black actor to win Best Actor in 1963 for Lilies of the Field. Washington has also managed to be a consistent force at the box office for the better part of three decades, with a lifetime box office gross of $2,236,830,853.
Washington’s career has proven indefatigable, and he keeps on trucking. With the blessing of the August Wilson estate, he will produce all 10 plays of his American Century Cycle for HBO. The first play up to bat is Fences. He will produce, direct and act in the film adaptation, re-teaming with Oscar-nominated actress, Viola Davis. The pair won Best Actor and Best Actress Tony Awards for their performances in the play’s 2010 revival.
The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards will on NBC at 8 p.m. EST on January 10, 2016.