Denzel Washington on Sustaining a 35-Year Marriage: 'I Do What I'm Told and Keep My Mouth Shut!'

Pauletta Washington and actor Denzel Washington arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. ‘The Book Of Eli’ held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on January 11, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

Uncle Denzel has been married to his wife Pauletta for 35 years. Hot damn, they barely do it like that anymore, so how do he and Pauletta do it?

“I do what I’m told. I keep my mouth shut,” he joked to People magazine.

Smart man.

But in all seriousness, Denzel admitted that there are too many things to account for when it comes to making a marriage a success, giving his wife credit for doing what he calls “the heavy-lifting.”


“What pops into my head: security, food, a beautiful home. The difference between a house and a home, it’s a big difference,” Denzel told People. “You can buy a house, but that doesn’t make it a home – and not to say a man can’t make a home a home, but my wife has made our house a home, and raised these beautiful kids [John David,33, Katia, 30, twins Olivia and Malcolm, 27] and protected them and sacrificed for them, she did the heavy lifting.”

Uncle also had some few choice words to say about his wife’s cooking, especially her curry chicken (yum), which Denzel has tried to replicate, but has failed.

“She has a few [specialties]. I’ve been eating her curry chicken since I’ve known her,” he said. “I used to make it too, but not as good as hers.”

But Denzel refused to spill the deets on what his masterpiece in the kitchen is, not wanting to be caught slipping by the queen of course.


“No, let’s not go there. I don’t want to get caught lying,” he told People.

Earlier this year, Deputy Managing Editor Yesha Callahan interviewed Denzel and video producer Danielle Young interviewed Pauletta, and got them both to talk about how they first met. Needless to say, there’s two sides to every story.

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Breanna Edwards

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi