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Birth name: Isaiah Washington IV.
Born: April 2, 1963 Houston, Texas, U.S.
Nickname: Mickey or Ike.
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m).
-Jenisa Marie Washington (14 February 1999 - present) they have three children.
NEW pictures of Isaiah Washington at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Cloverfield' in Paramount Pictures Lot
January 16, 2008
Isaiah Washington biography (bio):
Washington was born in Houston, Texas, where his parents were residents in the Houston Heights community. His parents relocated to Missouri City, Texas around 1980, where he was one of the first graduates from Willowridge High School, Houston, in 1981. Isaiah revealed in an interview with Star Jones that his father, whom he was named after, was murdered when he was 13 years old. Washington went on to serve in the United States Air Force and attended Howard University.
Marriage and family:
Washington married Jenisa Marie Washington on February 14, 1999. The couple have three children. In April 2006, he joined forces with the Narcolepsy Network in its first nation-wide campaign to raise awareness for narcolepsy. Washington does not suffer from the sleep disorder.
While Washington is African American a DNA test showed his maternal ancestry probably traces back to Sierra Leone, and he is likely of Mende descent. In December 2006 he visited his ancestral homeland, and received a warm welcome from the local people.
Inspired by founder Isaiah Washington's discovery of his direct genetic link to the Mende' people of Sierra Leone.Like Oprah, Washington has become known for his philanthropy in Africa. The Gondobay Manga Foundation advocates cooperative planning to achieve positive, timely improvements in the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.
In addition to The Gondobay Manga Foundation, Isaiah also works with Coalhouse Productions to get food to the needy in Los Angeles.
Washington is perhaps best known for his role as the gifted cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr. Preston Burke on Grey's Anatomy, a portrayal that earned him a 2007 NAACP Image Award for Best Actor in a Drama series. He was paired onscreen with Sandra Oh, who plays intern Dr. Cristina Yang. Washington had originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd, which ultimately went to Patrick Dempsey. Burke had originally been described as a nebbishy, stout forty-something man.
Grey's Anatomy controversy:
In the show's third season, Washington became a central figure in widely-reported backstage controversies. In October 2006, news reports surfaced that Washington had grabbed co-star Patrick Dempsey by the throat. It was reported that the altercation was prompted by or related to Washington's use of a derogatory epithet toward co-star T. R. Knight and his sexuality. Shortly after the details of the argument became public, Knight publicly disclosed that he is 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 when the cast appeared at the Golden Globes in January 2007. While being interviewed on the red carpet prior to the awards, Washington joked, "I love gay. I wanted to be gay. Please let me be gay." After the show won Best Drama, Washington, in response to press queries as to any conflicts backstage, said that he had never referred to Knight as a "faggot." However, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Knight said that Washington had, in fact, used that particular epithet.
After being rebuked by his studio, Touchstone Television (now ABC Studios), Washington again apologized for using the epithet and indicated that he has "asked for help" in "dealing with issues [he] obviously needs to examine within [his] own soul." On January 30, 2007, a source told People magazine that Washington was scheduled to return to the Grey's Anatomy set as early on that Thursday for the first time since entering anger counseling after making a homophobic slur.
However, on June 7, 2007, ABC announced they had decided not to renew Washington's contract, and that he would be dropped from the show. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore," Washington said in a statement released by his publicist, borrowing the famous Howard Beale line from Network. In another report, Washington stated he was planning to "spend the summer pursuing charity work in Sierra Leone, work on an independent film and avoid worrying about the show." In a subsequent interview, Washington claimed that "they fired the wrong guy" (referring to T.R. Knight) and said he was considering filing a lawsuit as a result. He accused Knight of using the controversy to bolster his own career and increase his salary on Grey's Anatomy.
Washington, in late June 2007, began asserting that racism was a factor in his firing from the series. On July 2, 2007, Washington appeared on Larry King Live on CNN, to present his side of the controversy. According to Washington, he never used the "F Word" in reference to T.R. Knight, but rather blurted it out in an unrelated context in the course of an argument with castmate Patrick Dempsey, who, he felt, was treating him like a "B-word," a "P-word," and the "F-word," which Washington said meant "weak."
NBC Picks Up Washington:
In July 2007 NBC decided to cast Isaiah Washington as a guest star in a story arc in their new series Bionic Woman despite the controversy surrounding him. NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman noted his eagerness to work with Washington saying it would be "like A-Rod leaving the Yankees in midseason." Washington himself said that his dismissal from Grey's Anatomy was an unfortunate misunderstanding that he is eager to move past.