Multitalented actor and pastor's son Denzel Washington received the coveted Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards from The Hollywood Foreign Press Association Sunday. The awards show aired live on NBC. The award is named in honor of showman Cecil B. DeMille, who became the first recipient in 1952, the year his film, "The Greatest Show on Earth," premiered.
The Cecil B. DeMille Award is an honorary Golden Globe Award bestowed by the association for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."
Denzel Washington Sr. was a pastor for the Church of God in Christ for 60 years, and Denzel Jr. said his family's church background shaped many of his deep faith concepts about putting God first.
Well-known actor Tom Hanks presented Washington with the award, saying he was joining "an exclusive club," and that he was "the actor of our generation."
Washington thanked the association, sharing that over the years, its members had made him "feel like a friend and part of the 'party.'" His parting words were: "God bless you all."
Washington most recently appeared in The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua, portraying a veteran covert operative who seeks redemption for his dark deeds. He can next be seen in Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven, starring alongside Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke, set to be released in September 2016.
Lorenzo Soria, president of the association, said, "Washington's long and storied career is earmarked by his countless roles in front and behind the camera. It is the HFPA's privilege to honor his contributions to the entertainment industry with the Cecil B. DeMille Award."
The award is chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors and was given to George Clooney last year, reports E! Entertainment Television. Other former recipients of this award include Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Williams, Michael Douglas, Al Pacino, Harrison Ford and Barbra Streisand.
Washington, 61, earned seven Golden Globe Award nominations and two wins. He's also won two Academy Awards, two Emmy nominations, one Tony Award, one BAFTA Award, one NAACP Image Award and a Grammy.
Read about Washington's faith and Christian beliefs in previous Gospel Herald articles:
The Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 210 countries worldwide and are one of the few awards ceremonies to include both motion picture and television achievements.