Denzel Washington’s Son, John David Washington, Starring in ‘Ballers’

John David Washington in a scene from Ballers  HBO
John David Washington in a scene from Ballers

On Thursday afternoon, it seemed as if the 40-and-under ladies of Twitter had made a shocking discovery. As it would turn out, everybody’s mama’s celebrity crush had created a “sequel” of sorts for a new generation of fans.

Or, to put it plainly: Heartthrob Denzel Washington has a grown-ass son. And he is finnnnnne, just like his daddy!

John David Washington, 31, is an actor who appeared alongside Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in the HBO comedy series Ballers, which recently wrapped its first season. The show claimed the network’s best ratings for a comedy series in a decade, according to the New York Daily News.

John David Washington played Ricky Jerret, a flashy and troublesome receiver with a magnetic personality. Despite Washington’s scene-stealing performances, somehow the show came (in June) and went (in August) without most of the audience realizing he was Hollywood royalty, despite’s announcement in a headline in October 2013 when J.D. joined the Ballers cast: “Denzel Washington’s Son John David Washington Lands First Major Acting Role.”

I guess most viewers just weren’t paying attention to that … or that the younger Washington sounds (often, but not always), looks and moves like his father. In fairness, this isn’t the same as the O’Shea Jackson (aka Ice Cube) situation, where father and son are practically identical. Depending on the angle, Washington looks more like his mom, Pauletta Washington, who has been married to Denzel since 1983. But still.

Ballers isn’t Washington’s first introduction to Hollywood. In 1992 he appeared in Malcolm X, which starred his father, who deserved the best actor Academy Award (he was nominated but didn’t win) for his turn as the slain civil rights leader. The younger Washington was credited as a “student in Harlem classroom” on IMDb, i.e., one of the kids who pop up from their chairs to yell, “I’m Malcolm X!” (He’s the first kid to say it.) Washington was also a co-producer for 2010’s The Book of Eli, which also starred his dad.

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