Denzel Washington's Wife Prayed for His Success When They Struggled with Money - Together for 40 Years, They Now Live in Dream Home

Actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta Washington have been together for decades, but the beginning of their relationship wasn't very smooth sailing after Pauletta rejected Denzel's proposal twice. Nevertheless, she eventually married him and has stood by him through life's storms. Today, they enjoy a quiet life in their palatial Beverly Hills mansion.

In an industry where marriage and quick divorces are the order of the day, fans can look for inspiration from couples who have made their unions work. One such pair is acclaimed actor Denzel Washington, who has been with his wife Pauletta Washington for nearly 40 years.

Despite Denzel being one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors, due to his engaging and powerful performances, he has managed to maintain a notoriously private personal life.

Besides a successful union of nearly four decades, the lovebirds are also parents to four children. But how did this enviable love story begin?

Like most celebrity love stories, Denzel and Pauletta's story began in 1977, on the set of the TV film "Wilma," where Denzel played Wilma Rudolph's husband while Pauletta played one of the track stars.

However, "The Equalizer" star revealed that even though that was when their paths first crossed, they did not pursue a romance from the get-go:

"I met her then, but I didn't meet her then. I saw her then."

A year later, the star was at a party that Pauletta had also attended when he spoke about going to see a play. And when the lights came on during intermission, he was surprised, albeit pleasantly, to see her sitting there. "She said she just happened to go see the play..." he joked.

Pauletta's account of the story is that a mutual friend had invited her to a party, which Denzel and his friends attended, albeit a bit late. They were reintroduced, and then the next night, she went to see a play and got there late.

Pauletta snuck in, sat down, and watched the play, oblivious to who was sitting next to her. But when the lights came on, she found herself sitting next to her future husband.

They soon went on their first date, but in the telling of this story, there always seems to be a conflict about who paid for the cab. The actor was, however, gracious enough to admit that when they got into a cab and headed home, the cab meter kept going up even as he confessed to Pauletta that he had no money to pay.

Speaking on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, he revealed that she paid because he had run out of money. However, that did not matter much to the love birds as theirs was a love beyond any monetary obligations.

After dating for a while, Denzel deemed it fit to propose to Pauletta and make an honest wife out of her. But Pauletta turned down Denzel's first attempt at a proposal, as did she the second. However, the third time was a charm, and she said yes, with the pair finally walking down the aisle on June 25, 1983.

Denzel Washington and His Wife Have Been Together Through Every Storm

When the "Safe House" actor and the "Genius: Aretha" actress made their vows to stay together through thick and thin, riches and poverty and health and sickness, they meant every word of it, and sooner than later, they would be required to prove those words.

From the beginning, Denzel knew he could count on his wife's support when things did not go as planned, and she has continued to be the wind under his wings for the years they have been together.

In fact, Denzel once opened up about how much he adored his wife, saying that while his most recognized roles are in dynamic action thrillers and powerful dramas, his most important one is being a husband to Pauletta.

Like her husband, Pauletta made a name for herself early in life. She made history when she became the first Black contestant to compete in the Miss North Carolina pageant. She is also a vocalist and trained pianist. Over the years, she has also continued acting, appearing in "She's Gotta Have It" and "Steps."

But despite their combined success, they have maintained a successful marriage life. When asked about the secret to such a long marriage, Washington first joked, "I do what I'm told. I keep my mouth shut!"

However, he later became more introspective, crediting his wife for making the marriage last. She was the difference between a house and a home and had sacrificed much to make their union work. He shared:

"The difference between a house and a home, it's a big difference. You can buy a house, but that doesn't make it a home—and not to say a man can't make a home a home, but my wife has made our house a home and raised these beautiful kids, and protected them and sacrificed for them. She did the heavy lifting."

It also helps that his wife is a great cook and whips up some sumptuous meals. And if the adage "the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach" holds any water, we know part of the reason the marriage has survived that many years. 

And even though Denzel gave his wife all the credit, Pauletta also noted that her husband's fame and money did not factor into their connection. He was in the acting scenes long before her and has continued to make big moves in the industry, but he has always been present for his family and in his wife's life.

Denzel believes they have had such a successful union because they have put work into it. He admitted that they have had their ups and downs like any other married couple, but their intentional commitment to making it a success has made all the difference.

A spiritual foundation has also been fundamental in their union. The "Inside Man" star attributes his success to the prayers of his mother and wife, observing that he has been protected with a legion of prayers from two of the most influential women in his life.

Dream House for the Big Family

The Academy Awarding-winning actor has had a prolific career, beginning from the lowest of rungs and paving his way to become one of Hollywood's most charismatic leading men.

With a career spanning over four decades, he has appeared in action and crime thrillers, prestige dramas as well as comedies. Still, despite such diverse roles, he has remained one of the greatest actors of his and other generations.

He began his career in theatre, taking on roles off-Broadway before landing his first-ever TV role in the medical drama "St. Elsewhere." From there, he hit the ground running and began taking on even more significant roles.

His legendary run has seen him land such roles as playing John Creasy in the 2004 "Man of Fire," Frank Lucas in the 2007 "American Gangster," pilot Whip Whitaker in "Fight," and boxer Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter in "The Hurrican," among many others. His career has also seen him bag numerous accolades, ranging from Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and a Tony to being nominated for many more.

As such, the actor has cemented his place as an icon of success and is reportedly worth a jaw-dropping 190 million dollars. He is also the proud owner of a stately home -- situated in the heart of the ultra-exclusive Beverly Park in Beverly Hills, California -- where he spends time with his wife and large family.

The home is located in an affluent neighborhood that is also home to countless other A-listers, such as Justin Bieber, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Samuel L. Jackson. Purchased in 1992 at a whopping 2.6 million dollars, the luxurious abode has been home to the star and his family for the past two decades.

Many celebrities consider homes replaceable property, but Denzel has maintained his for 20 years. And it is easy to see why. The property boasts a stunning 28,887 square feet of living space, with 14 bathrooms and eight bedrooms.

From the outside, the home is a beauty to behold, with the lush foliage and tall green trees enveloping it. The driveway centers around a fountain centerpiece, while a large guesthouse and a pool are a short way away. To the side is a full tennis court as well as beautiful landscaping. A beautiful outdoor area is ideal for family cookouts and just laying back and relaxing with his wife and four kids.

Besides a successful career, a beautiful home, and a long, happy marriage, the actor takes pride in being a father of four; John David, Katia, Malcolm, and Olivia.

"The Little Things" actor and his lovely wife welcomed their first child, John David, on July 28, 1984. John was an athlete during his school days, playing an array of sports, including football, basketball, and track. He joined Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he graduated in 2006.

He continued playing football after college, even signing with St. Louis Rams and Germany's Rhein Fire. However, his football career ended when the United Football League's California Redwoods shut down in 2012. And while his father had always supported him in playing, the actor was glad when his son's career was cut short. Denzel told People in 2018:

"He's had, I don't know how many concussions, a broken collar bone, a torn-up knee, and Achilles [tendon]. No, I'm glad it's over."

Lucky for him, John had a backup plan. He had always wanted to be an actor and had even debuted his career as a child actor, playing a student in "Malcolm X," a film in which his father also starred. After his football career ended, John took up acting full-time.

Over the years, John has appeared in an assortment of films such as "Ballers," "Tenet," "Amsterdam," and "The Piano Lesson," among many others. He credits his parents' influence on his career, saying his dad has been a great teacher while his mom is his inspiration.

Denzel and Pauletta's second child is daughter Katia Washington. She was born on November 27, 1986, and graduated from Yale University in 2010. While she maintains a quiet life compared to other family members, she has followed in the family business and is a producer for Bron Studios. Her work credits include "Sharp Stick," "Breaking," "Malcolm & Marie," and "Fences."

Malcolm Washington and Olivia Washington are twins and the youngest of the Washington brood. Born on April 10, 1991, Malcolm attended Windward School and then joined the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied film.

Even though he also took up basketball at Fordham University, he slowed down a bit and focused on a career in directing and producing films. He has worked as an assistant director on "The Last Bookstore" and "Trouble Man," as well as a producer on "Summer of 17," "The Dispute," and "North Hollywood."

Olivia Washington attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a degree in drama in 2013. Not one to be left behind, she became an actress like her parents and older siblings. She grew up dancing and playing piano but discovered she was more interested in acting during her junior year in high school.

Despite growing up in the industry, she disclosed that she had a very normal childhood: "It's interesting because I think people assume that in my house we discuss 'the industry' like at the dinner table or something, but that wasn't the case."

Her acting credits include "The Butler," "A Holiday in Harlem," and "The Little Things." She has also been on episodes of "Mr. Robot," "Madoff," and "Empire." Denzel has often praised his daughter's acting skills, saying:

"I'm a dad, so I'm gonna keep saying it: Olivia Washington is a great young actress. Very, very, very good young actress, so she's coming for her brother [John David]."

Despite his influence rubbing off on his children, Denzel admits that his babies have kept him grounded and humble. And even though they are now grown, his dedication to family and faith remains unwavering.