Denzel Washington is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. You may know him from his uncanny performance as Malcolm X or, perchance, his highly quotable Training
monologue, "King Kong ain't got s**t on me!” For gentler souls, it may have been his 2016 performance in Fences, an adaption of playwright August Wilson’s 1985 work. In any case, the three-time Golden Globe winner has become emblematic of American cinema itself. But he isn't the only Washington to have left his mark on Hollywood. Meet his wife, Pauletta Washington — the music behind scenes in Antwone
Fisher and Philadelphia.

1. She studied at Juilliard.

Pauletta's vocal and piano contributions to film likely came as no great challenge as she was trained at The Juilliard School. Her classical training, according to her son John David Washington, allowed her to treat Denzel to their first date.

2. She's an actress.

In a 2018 conversation with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, the Book
Eli actor remained private about how he and Pauletta celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. Nevertheless, the decorated actor opened up about some of the history shared by the couple, explaining that the first time they met was on the set of 1977 television film Wilma, where a young Pauletta played a supporting role. More recently, the actress made an appearance in Spike Lee’s 2017 television remake, She’s Gotta Have It.

3. She makes a bomb curry chicken.

When prompted to reflect on the nuts and bolts sturdy enough to carry a marriage well into its third decade, Denzel told People, it was the little things.

“The difference between a house and a home, it’s a big difference. You can buy a house,” he explained, “But that doesn’t make it a home.”

As it turns out, what makes Denzel and Pauletta’s house so homey is the familiar waft of her curry chicken.

“I’ve been eating her curry chicken since I’ve known her,” he told the magazine. “I used to make it too, but not as good as hers.”

4. They have four kids in the industry.

While fans may not have known the couple raised four children (including now 28-year-old twins, Malcolm and Olivia) audiences everywhere were introduced to the couple’s eldest child, John David, with his 2018 starring role in BlacKkKlansmen. The film earned the rising actor his first Golden Globe nomination. On the small screen, John David has been honing his acting chops on the set of HBO’s Ballers, where he plays Ricky Jerret. Katia, the Washingtons' eldest daughter, graduated from Yale and is forging her own path in the industry. She worked on production for films Django Unchained and Fences, where her father shared the big screen with Viola Davis.

5. She turned down Denzel's first two proposals.

The couple seemed to be victims of conflicting memories as they recalled the details of their engagement with Access Hollywood. Nevertheless, the pair was able to reach a consensus: Denzel had proposed three times.

“Why was it twice?” a bewildered Denzel pondered. “Why would I have to ask again?”

“Because I said no," Pauletta retorted.

6. Her family loves to brag about her in interviews.

In touching interview moments, the Washingtons have shared their reverence for Pauletta's impact on their lives. Denzel told People that it was her moments of selflessness, stretched out over the years, that held their marriage together — not just the curry chicken or the role she's played as a mother of four.

Denzel told the magazine it was her sacrifices that made the difference,  a sentiment echoed by her eldest son.

John David told The Root: "I love my mother. The fact that she sacrificed so much to raise four children, and as she has got back into acting, I am so proud. Everything she does … pushes me to be the best."