Actor Denzel Washington, 64, was honored by Hollywood Thursday evening for a pioneering career spanning five decades and two Oscars that opened the door for a generation of black movie stars.
Washington is one of only four black stars to win a best actor Oscar.
Director Spike Lee presented Washington with the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award — billed as “the highest honor for a career in film” — at a gala event at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Hollywood’s small elite of A-list black leading men paid tribute to Washington’s trailblazing career — fellow Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx and Mahershala Ali took to the stage, as did “Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.
Photos: EPA-EFE/NINA PROMMER