Today in history – Dec. 28th

By Terry Odenigbo

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On this day in 1954, the Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, who will go on to star in such movies as Malcolm X and Training Day, is born in Mount Vernon, New York. In 2002, for his performance as a corrupt cop in Training Day, Washington became the first black man to win the Best Actor Academy Award since 1964, when Sidney Poitier received the award for Lilies of the Field. Washington graduated from Fordham University and studied acting at the American Conservatory Theatre. He first gained notice in Hollywood for his role as Dr. Philip Chandler on the popular TV medical drama St. Elsewhere, which originally aired from 1982 to 1988. Washington received his first Oscar nomination, in the Best Supporting Actor category, for his performance as the anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in 1987’sCry Freedom. He won his first Best Supporting Actor Oscar two years later, for his portrayal of a runaway slave who joins the Union Army in the 1989 Civil War-era film Glory. The list of Dezel’s success is endless. Perhaps there is a lesson history seeks to teach the Nigerian movie industry. Hard work, determination and total dedication are traits that can revolutionize Nollywood and take it to heights previously unattained if aspiring actors can borrow a leaf from Denzel. What are your thoughts?

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