How Denzel Washington’s Son, Malcolm, Swapped Courtside for Clapboard: From Basketball to Hollywood?

Denzel Washington, father of four, proudly watches his twin son Malcolm Washington's transition from basketball player to film director!

By Chakku HaruPublished on: April 18, 2024 Updated on: April 28, 2024
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Malcolm Washington is the second son of Academy-Award-winning Denzel Washington. Born on April 10, 1991, Malcolm grew up along with his three siblings, including his twin sister Olivia Rashelle Washington.

He is a former standout basketball player in high school and college. But, later, Washington shifted his focus to film and television, occasionally working behind the scenes as a director and producer.

Here’s a closer look at his journey.

Where Did Malcolm Washington play basketball?

He played college basketball at the University of Pennsylvania. Over his career, he participated in 19 games, starting just once. He played an average of 4.0 minutes per game, scoring a total of 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

His shooting percentages were low with a field goal percentage of 15.4% and he did not make any three-point shots.

During the 2009-10 season, Malcolm saw action in 19 games, including 10 in the Ivy League. His sole start came in the Ivy opener at Yale on January 29. He scored his first collegiate points at Villanova on November 16. Malcolm managed three points in games against Delaware and Davidson and delivered two assists in the Davidson game. His season-high for minutes was nine, achieved in games against Delaware, Davidson, and Saint Joseph’s.

Malcolm is a former basketball player.
Denzel’s younger son Malcolm. (Image: Getty)

In high school, Washinton was a four-year basketball letterman at Windward School. As a senior captain, he led his team to a CIF Division V state championship with a 29-6 record. He was a two-time first-team all-league selection, a 2009 Academic All-America, and the MVP of the 2009 Windward Winter Classic Tournament. Additionally, Malcolm was a recipient of the Head of School Award and consistently made the honor roll.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in March 2009, he highlighted the influence of his father, stating, “My dad kind of instilled that in me. We’re Army and they’re my troops and I just have to calm everyone down. Even if I’m not scoring points, I have to keep everyone’s heads together.”

He also expressed gratitude towards his family for their support: “I’m blessed to have a family that cares so much to come across the country to see me play. I really appreciate it. It really does a lot for me. More than they, or anybody else, might really understand.”

Despite his family’s fame, Washington described his school experience as “low-key” to ESPN in February 2010. However, his life shifted at the University of Pennsylvania, where he found himself in a spotlight he wasn’t used to. “I was thrown into an environment where everybody knew everything about me. There were 10,000 people who knew who I was before I even got here. It’s crazy. I’m adjusting to it,” he remarked.

He Pursues a Career Off-Screen

Malcolm Washington, despite a notable basketball career in high school, chose not to continue after completing his college education. He has shifted his focus entirely to the entertainment industry. His first stunt into show business was as the assistant director for the short video Trouble Man in 2016. The next year, he took roles in The Last Bookstore and wrote Benny Got Shot.

His venture into production saw him working on several TV projects, including North Hollywood, The Dispute, and Summer of 17. His recognition grew significantly after he served as an assistant on the TV series “She’s Gotta Have It” in 2017, which featured stars such as DeWanda Wise, Lyriq Bent, and more.

His Twin Sister Olivia Washington Is an Actress

He isn’t the only one in his family with a flair for the arts; his twin sister Olivia is also deeply involved in the industry. Olivia is an actress acclaimed for her role as Flora in I’m a Virgo, earning her an Independent Spirit Award nomination in 2024. She has appeared in other notable projects such as The Butler (2013), The Comedian (2016), and Great Performances (2019).

Malcolm with his parents and sister Katia.
Malcolm, Katia, Pauletta, and Denzel at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019, in Hollywood, California. (Image: Getty)

Apart from Olivia, Malcolm has two other siblings in show business. His sister Katia, born on November 27, 1987, is recognized for her roles in The Equalizer (2014) and Fences (2016). Their older brother, John David Washington, born on July 28, 1984, is well-known for his successful acting career.

His Mother Pauletta Is a Sporadic Actress

While Malcolm’s father, Denzel, is renowned for roles in films like Glory (1989) and Training Day (2001), his mother Pauletta Washington also has her achievements in acting. She first gained recognition for her role as a teacher in the television series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child from 1995 to 1997. She also portrayed Terri Angelou in the TV series The Parkers.

Malcolm and his mother Pauletta.
With his mom Pauletta. (Image: Getty)

Beyond their careers, Malcolm’s parents have found considerable success in their personal lives. They have been married since 1983.

Other Quick Facts About Malcolm Washington

  • He doesn’t have a girlfriend now.
  • He has a net worth of $500k. His father Denzel has a fortune of $280 million.
  • His height is 5ft 9in.
  • He currently resides in California.
  • He is Christian by religion.
  • Malcolm belongs to an African-American ethnic background.

About Author: Chakku Haru

Chakku, a seasoned celebrity content writer with a profound passion for the entertainment industry. With years of experience in the field, Chakku specializes in capturing the essence of actors, singers, YouTube stars, and journalists. His expertise extends to providing in-depth insights into their lives, from their career milestones to personal anecdotes that resonate with fans worldwide. Through his captivating writing, Chakku brings the stories of these luminaries to life, leaving readers inspired and engaged