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Denzel Washington has one of the longest-lasting marriages in Hollywood, and it’s clear from the couple’s red carpet photos that their chemistry hasn’t lessened at all during their several decades of marriage. So, how did Denzel Washington meet his wife Pauletta and how did they prioritize their relationship to make sure they weren’t another Hollywood divorce story?

Denzel, Pauletta Washington: A True Hollywood Love Story

Denzel and Pauletta Washington are essentially Hollywood royalty, especially when it comes to their iconic red carpet walks. The famed couple, whose son John David Washington has been gaining acclaim with his own acting talents, have long delighted fans with their obviously loved-up red carpet photos for decades now. In a time when so many Hollywood relationships fall apart, it’s wonderful to see a couple who are so clearly utterly devoted to one another. 

Nominee for Best Actor “Fences” Denzel Washington arrives on the red carpet with his wife Pauletta for the 89th Oscars on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

How Did Denzel Meet His Wife?

The beginning of the Washingtons’ love story deserves a film of its own. Pauletta and Denzel first met in the 1970s on the set of Denzel’s very first film, a made-for-TV movie called Wilma. Denzel played the role of the main character’s boyfriend while Pauletta played an unnamed track athlete. 

Though it was the first time the two came into contact with each other, the sparks didn’t necessarily fly. In a 2018 episode of Live! With Kelly And Ryan, Denzel explained, “The first movie I ever did — TV movie — was about Wilma Rudolph and I played Wilma Rudolph’s boyfriend. Pauletta was one of the track stars,” he said, adding, “I met her then, but I didn’t meet her then. I saw her then.”

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It wasn’t until Denzel and Pauletta ran into each other a year later at a party hosted by a mutual friend that they began a friendship that soon blossomed into a romance. Pauletta told Oprah Winfrey in 1996, “A mutual friend of ours, who was also in the film, had given a party. And Denzel and his friends came at the very end of the party.

(Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com)

Pauletta continued, “We spoke again. We were reintroduced. The next night, I attended a play. I got there late, so I snuck in and just sat down. I didn’t look at who was around me, then at intermission, the lights came up, and we were sitting next to each other.” How about that for a meet-cute?

A Strong Marriage Forged By Love

(Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com)

After dating for five years, Pauletta and Denzel tied the knot in 1983 and have four children together: John David, Katia, Malcolm, and Olivia. At the same time that they were raising their young family, the couple also had to reckon with Denzel’s skyrocketing fame as he began starring in hit films such as Malcolm X, The Pelican Brief, and Crimson Tide

(Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com)

As the film premieres and awards show appearances began to rack up, Pauletta was at Denzel’s side all the way. Over the years, she and Denzel have gotten older, but their deep connection has never wavered, and the love between them is as clear to see in the most recent photos of the couple as it was at their earliest red carpet events.

Young Denzel And Pauletta Washington

UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Actor Denzel Washington and his wife. (Photo by Diane Freed)

This photo, taken in 1999 at the height of Denzel’s newfound superstardom, he and Paulette look at utter ease with each other, showing the kind of unconscious physical affection that makes it clear that their union is one of true love. 

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