Denzel Washington (Finally) Wins His First Screen Actors Guild Award!

(Photo credit:

On January 29, 2016, after over 35 years of being in the business, Denzel Washington has won his first Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award! After seeing the movie Fences and reading all the raving reviews, it seemed as though everyone knew Denzel was a shoe-in to win–well, everybody except Denzel himself.

Denzel said that he thought Casey Affleck would take home the award after he won the Golden Globe for his role in “Manchester by the Sea.”

“Somewhere during the evening I started thinking, ‘You better think of something just in case,'” Washington said. “It was a shock, it really was a shock.”

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was an American labor union which represented over 100,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide. On March 30, 2012, the union leadership announced that the SAG membership voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to create SAG-AFTRA. The Guild was founded in 1933 in an effort to eliminate exploitation of actors in Hollywood who were being forced into oppressive multi-year contracts.

The 62-year-old actor won for his lead role in “Fences,” which he also directed. He said while it felt good to win, his goal has shifted from just thinking about himself, his roles, his films, etc.

(Photo Credit: AP/G. Albright)

“I’ve won every award you can win,” Washington told “GMA.” “At this part of my life I’m here to support others and see them do well. That’s why the most important thing to me was the case — taking care of the other actors.”

Washington said that turning 60 made him realize, “This isn’t dress rehearsal, this is life,” and he wants to make everything count.

“You’re never going to see a U-Haul behind a hearse,” Washington told “GMA.” “You can’t take it with you … So what are you going to do with what you have?”

Denzel has played everything from action/thrillers such as The Pelican Brief ($100m domestic back in 1993) and Crimson Tide ($91m domestic in 1995), but he still made movies like Philadelphia ($93m in 1993), Malcolm X ($48m in 1992) and The Hurricane ($50m in 1999).