Life and Career
Washington was born in Houston, Texas. His parents moved to Missouri City, Texas, around 1980, where he was one of the first graduates from Willowridge High School, Houston, in 1981. Washington revealed in an interview with Star Jones that his father, after whom he was named, was murdered when he was 13 years old. Washington went on to serve in the United States Air Force and attended Howard University. Washington married Jenisa Marie Garland on February 14, 1996. The couple have three children.
He is most well known for his role as Dr. Burke in Grey's Anatomy. In October 2006, rumors surfaced that Washington had insulted co-star T. R. Knight with a homophobic slur. Shortly after the details of the argument became public, Knight publicly disclosed that he was gay. The situation seemed somewhat resolved when Washington issued a statement, apologizing for his "unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set".
The controversy later resurfaced at the 2007 Golden Globes. After being rebuked by his studio, Touchstone Television (now ABC Studios), Washington issued a statement apologizing at length for using the epithet in an argument with Patrick Dempsey. On January 30, 2007, a source told People magazine that Washington was scheduled to return to the Grey's Anatomy set as early as that Thursday for the first time since entering "executive counseling" after making the comments at the Golden Globes. However, on June 7, 2007, ABC announced it had decided not to renew Washington's contract, and that he would be dropped from the show.
In July 2007, NBC decided to cast Washington as a guest star in a story arc in its new series Bionic Woman. However, Bionic Woman was cancelled after only eight episodes due to low ratings. Washington also starred in the film Blue Caprice. The film was released in theaters on September 13, 2013.
For full filmography, see IMDb.
Notes and Trivia
- He was the first African American to be granted full citizenship to Sierra Leone based on his DNA.
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- EXCLUSIVE: Isaiah Washington Apologizes, People, October 25, 2006]
- After African Detour, Isaiah Washington Is Back on Screen, The New York Times, September 12, 2013}}
- TV Star Isaiah Washington on “Game Changers” Tonight, Tami DeVine, Crown City News
- Gloria Betts and Umaru Kebbay take the initiative to make the difference at home during Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration, Cocorioko, May 26, 2011