John David Washington
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John David Washington

John David Washington
John David Washington.png
Washington in 2018
Born (1984-07-28) July 28, 1984 (age 36)
Los Angeles, California, U.S
Alma materMorehouse College
  • Actor
Years active1992-present
Parent(s)Denzel Washington
Pauletta Pearson Washington

John David Washington (born July 28, 1984) is an American actor and former football running back. He played college football at Morehouse College and signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2006. Professionally, Washington spent four years as the running back for the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions.

Washington shifted to an acting career like his father, Denzel Washington, and mother, Pauletta. He was part of the main cast of the HBO comedy series Ballers (2015-2019). His breakthrough came playing Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee's crime film BlacKkKlansman (2018), for which he received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Washington achieved wider recognition after starring in Christopher Nolan's spy film Tenet (2020).

Early life

Washington was raised in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, the son of actor Denzel Washington and actress and singer Pauletta Washington (née Pearson); he is the oldest of their four children.[1] At the age of seven he appeared as a student in a Harlem classroom in Spike Lee's 1992 feature film Malcolm X, which starred his father Denzel in the title role.[2]

Washington attended Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles, where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. He graduated from high school in 2002 and from Morehouse College in 2006.

Football career

John David Washington
No. 33, 28
Position:Running back
Personal information
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only


As a Morehouse College senior, Washington led the conference in rushing with 1,198 yards (a school record). He also had a 5.6-yard average, nine touchdowns, and ten receptions for 69 yards. In his college career, Washington holds the school's single-game (242 yards) and career (3,699 yards) rushing records.


After going undrafted in the 2006 NFL Draft, Washington was signed by the St. Louis Rams on May 1, 2006 as an undrafted free agent. Washington was released by the Rams on August 31.[3] Three days later, the Rams re-signed him to their practice squad.[4] Washington played in NFL Europe for the Rhein Fire in the 2007 offseason.[5]

Washington was drafted by the California Redwoods (later the Sacramento Mountain Lions) of the United Football League in the UFL Premiere Season Draft in 2009. He signed with the team on August 18.[6] Washington stayed with the team after their move to Sacramento, playing for the Mountain Lions until 2012, when the league abruptly folded that October.[7][8]

Acting career

Washington returned to acting in 2015 in the role of Ricky Jerret in the HBO drama series Ballers.[9] The series was well-received by critics,[10] and continued on for five seasons through 2019. In September 2017, Washington was cast in the lead role of detective Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee's thriller BlacKkKlansman, which was based on Stallworth's memoir.[11] The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered on May 14, 2018.[12][13] It did not win the Palme d'Or, but was awarded the Grand Prix by the festival jury. The film began a U.S. theatrical release on August 10, 2018, a date chosen to coincide with the one year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.[14] The film was a commercial success, earning Washington both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.[15][16] In 2018, Washington also starred in the films Monsters and Men and All Rise, both of which screened in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.[17][18][19] He also appeared in The Old Man & the Gun, which was released on September 28, 2018 by Fox Searchlight Pictures.[20]

After seeing Washington's work in BlacKkKlansman, director Christopher Nolan hand-picked him to anchor his spy film, Tenet (2020).[21] Nolan said of the actor, "[He's] just one of the greatest collaborators I've worked with: extraordinarily hard-working, very, very thoughtful, and very considerate of everybody around him in the most wonderful way."[22]Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised Washington's "star-in-the-making" performance, writing, "A former football running back, the actor brings a natural athletic grace to the stunts and hand-to-hand combat that forge a visceral bond between his character and the audience."[23]

Washington will star alongside Zendaya as the titular characters in the drama film Malcolm & Marie, which had been filmed in secret during the COVID-19 pandemic.[24]


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Malcolm X Student in Harlem classroom
1995 Devil in a Blue Dress Boy with Toy Rifle Uncredited
2010 The Book of Eli Co-producer
2015-2019 Ballers Ricky Jerret Television series, Main cast; 47 episodes
2017 Love Beats Rhymes Mahlik
2018 Monsters and Men Dennis Williams
All Rise Richard "Bobo" Evans
BlacKkKlansman Detective Ron Stallworth
The Old Man & the Gun Lieutenant Kelley
2020 Tenet The Protagonist
2021 Born to Be Murdered Beckett Post-production
Malcolm & Marie Malcolm Post-production

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ Smith, Krista (April 11, 2018). "John David Washington on His Path from Pro Football to Ballers". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Respers, Lisa (August 1, 2018). "Don't tell BlacKkKlansmans' John David Washington he's code-switching". CNN. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "Rams cut 11, including sixth-round pick". Yahoo! Sports. August 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007. It was widely speculated that John David Washington was a member of the St. Louis Rams but he never actually signed his contract due to a failed physical.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Rams sign seven to practice squad". St. Louis Rams. September 3, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "John David Washington". The Football Database. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "United Football League Signs 31 Players to California Redwoods' Roster". United Football League. August 18, 2009. Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Mountain Lions begin season with morning practice". KTXL. September 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "John David Washington". 2010. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 13, 2014). "Dwayne Johnson's HBO Half-Hour Pilot 'Ballers' Picked Up To Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ "Ballers: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 8, 2017). "Spike Lee, Jordan Peele Team Up on KKK Crime Thriller Black Klansman". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Debruge, Peter; Keslassy, Elsa (April 12, 2018). "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; Gardner, Chris (May 14, 2018). "Cannes: Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman Draws 10-Minute Ovation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Staff (December 6, 2018). "'Vice,' 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace' lead 2019 Golden Globe nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "BlacKkKlansman (2018) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "Sundance Film Festival Unveils Full 2018 Features Lineup". Variety. November 29, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "John David Washington on Dad Denzel, Spike Lee's Black Klansman and His Sundance Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 18, 2018). "'Monsters And Men' Sundance First Look: "Can't You See What's Happening Out There?"". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (June 5, 2018). "'The Old Man And The Gun' Trailer: Robert Redford Will Act One Last Time For Director David Lowery". The Playlist. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ Bahr, Lindsey (September 2, 2020). "John David Washington cements his stardom in 'Tenet'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ Justin Kroll (September 4, 2020). "'I learned more about my body than I knew': John David Washington gets his action-hero moment with 'Tenet'". USA Today. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ Travers, Peter (August 28, 2020). "'Tenet' Review: Christopher Nolan's Knockout Arrives Right on Time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 30, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "Reopening Hollywood: How Zendaya, John David Washington and 'Euphoria' Creator Sam Levinson Started and Finished a Secret Movie During the Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "2018 NAACP Image Award Winners: Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. January 14, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "John David Washington Receives IMDb STARmeter Award". IMDb. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "2018 People's Choice Awards: Complete List of Nominations". E! News. September 5, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ Justine Browning (December 6, 2018). "John David Washington on BlacKkKlansmans powerful message receiving Golden Globe recognition". Entertainment Weekly.
  29. ^ "2018 Awards Nominees". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ Patrick Hipes (December 12, 2018). "SAG Awards Nominations: 'A Star Is Born', 'Mrs. Maisel', 'Ozark' Lead Way - The Full List". Deadline.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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