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Aug 23, 2016 04:25 AM EDT

Denzel Washington Movies, And Much More: Actor Honored With Doctorate Degree

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Want to know one more actor that has never stepped foot in class but got a degree to show for it? Denzel Washington is one. The Academy Award and Tony winner featured his commencement address in 2011 at the University of Pennsylvania. It was then that he also received his honorary doctorate degree for his work in theater and film.

"Do you have the guts to fail?" Washington asked students. "If you don't fail, you're not even trying," quotes Business Insider.

His education stared when he attended Pennington-Grimes Elementary school in 1968, at Mount Vernon. He then moved to a different school after his parents divorced. He enrolled in a preparatory school, Oakland Military Academy in New Windsor, New York. Washington later revealed that that decision changed his life "because I wouldn't have survived in the direction I was going. The guys I was hanging out with at the time, my running buddies, have now done maybe 40 years combined in the penitentiary. They were nice guys, but the streets got them."

Later one, he attended Mainland High School at Daytona Beach, Florida. He was interested to enroll in Texas Tech University because of their red uniforms. He played collegiate basketball but later on dropped out of college after being confused about which major to study. He tried a stunt as a creative arts director. He was recommended to try acting as a major after he participated in a staff talent show at Camp Sloane YMCA.

He pursued acting at the Lincoln Center campus and then graduated at the American Conservatory in San Francisco. That was when Denzel Washington focused on having a professional acting career. Later on, he was considered to be one of a few African-American actors to appear on St. Elsewhere.

So far, Washington has received three Golden Globes, a Tony Award and Two Academy Awards for Best supporting actor and Best actor.

Watch Denzel Washington's commencement speech below:

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