Pauletta Washington Biography

Pauletta Washington, nee Pearson, is an American actress known for her role as Terri Angelou in the TV comedy series ‘The Parkers’. She is also recognized as the wife of the Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, with whom she has celebrated 35 years of marriage. Despite facing challenges and rumors, Pauletta and Denzel have managed to strengthen their relationship over the years. While Pauletta has not appeared in major hits, she has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in various small screen and big screen roles, including ‘Philadelphia’, ‘Antwone Fisher’, and ‘Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child’.

Quick Facts

  • Age: 73 Years
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Denzel Washington (m. 1983)
    • Siblings: Rita Pearson
    • Children: John David Washington, Katia Washington, Malcolm Washington, Olivia Washington
  • Occupation: Actresses
  • Ethnicity: African-American
  • Height: 1.85 m
  • U.S. State: North Carolina
  • Education: Yale University


In 1970, Pauletta Pearson participated in the Miss North contest, becoming the first black participant in the show. She finished as the first runner-up in the competition. Prior to her marriage, she had appeared in a number of small roles on the small and the big screen. In 1977, she appeared in the short film ‘Wilma’ along with her future husband Denzel. The movie was based on the story of American track sprinter Wilma Rudolph, who despite her physical handicaps, went on to win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics.

In 1981, she was featured in the telefilm ‘Purlie’. She was appreciated for her performance in the movie ‘Beloved’ in 1998. It was a horror drama film based on Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel of the same name. The film, which was directed by Jonathan Demme, starred actors Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Thandie Newton. Her other acting credits include ‘Antwone Fisher’ in 2002, ‘90 Days’ in 2016, and ‘Steps’ in 2017. She also played the role of Miss Ella Chisholm in the Netflix comedy series ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ in 2017. Pauletta is also famous for her performance as Terri Angelou in the TV comedy series ‘The Parkers’, a role that she played for two years from 2002 to 2004. She starred in the TV series ‘Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child’ as well.

Personal Life

Pauletta Washington was born Pauletta Pearson on September 28, 1950, in North Carolina, the United States. She has a sister, Rita Pearson, who is also an actress. Pauletta and Denzel Washington first met in 1977 on the sets of the television film ‘Wilma’. Soon, they started dating and continued their courtship for about a year. Denzel once told the host in ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ that he proposed to her thrice, and after refusing twice, she agreed the third time. On June 25, 1983, the couple tied the knot.

Their first child, son John David Washington, was born on July 28, 1984. He grew up to become a football player with the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions. Later, like his parents, he became an actor and a producer. He debuted in acting at the age of nine, in his father’s film ‘Malcolm X’. He is also known for his role as Ricky Jerret in the HBO comedy series ‘Ballers’ in 2015.

Pauletta and Denzel welcomed their second child, daughter Katia Washington, on November 27, 1986. In 2010, Katia graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and became a Hollywood producer. She is well known for her works ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Fences’, and ‘The Birth of a Nation’.

The couple welcomed their twins—daughter Olivia Rashelle Washington and son Malcolm Washington—on April 10, 1991. Malcolm graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in film studies and also played on the university’s basketball team.

In 1995, the couple romantically renewed their wedding vows in South Africa, in a ceremony that was officiated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The celebrity couple has been through their share of ups and downs. They have weathered rumors of infidelity and divorce. In 2013, pictures of Denzel allegedly kissing another woman surfaced, which led to the rumors that the couple was going to divorce soon. It was also reported that Pauletta had left the house after learning of her husband’s infidelity. However, both denied the rumors and stayed with each other. Denzel once stated in an interview that there is no formula for a successful marriage and every couple needs to work out their own. “It’s a commitment,” he added. In 2018, Pauletta Washington and her husband celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

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