Incredible Facts About Isaiah Washington Every Fan Should Know

Isaiah Washington, in his more than 2 decades long career, has seen and done almost everything, from a gangster to cop, to just an average hardworking Joe to the most talented surgeon, to even a gay Republican man. In fact, he fits into every mold perfectly, and then re-shapes the entire mold to fit his characterizations and powerful performances. It’s not just his acting career, but his philanthropic works to his people in Sierra Leone, makes him one of the most wonderful persons on this earth. Here are some really interesting facts about the actor that will make you love him more:

  1. Isaiah authored the book “A Man from Another Land,” which chronicles the early days of his life, his TV and film career, and also his search to find his roots.
  2. In the 2008 movie “The Least of These,” in which he portrayed the character of Father Andre James, he was not required to go into the lake, as the dead body emerged.
  3. As per the original script, Father Andre James only has to watch the water as the dead body emerged, by it was Washington who suggested that the character should go into the lake.
  4. Washington originally auditioned for the role of Derek Shepherd, “Grey’s Anatomy,” but landed the role of gifted cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Preston Burke.
  5. He was also Shonda Rhimes’s first choice to be the lead of the show, who wanted to pair Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, with him, to bring in an interracial couple.
  6. But Pompeo, who has an interracial relationship in real life, wanted to have Patrick Dempsey as the lead, as getting paired with Washington felt too close to home for her.
  7. His mother was the first African-American woman to be licensed as a barber in the state of Texas.
  8. Washington revealed that his father, after whom he was named, was actually murdered in Houston Texas. He was in the very young age of 13 years at that time.
  9. In order to determine his heritage, he underwent a DNA test, and found out that his father’s side is Angolan and his mother is from Sierra Leone, linked to the Mende and Temne peoples.
  10. He first visited Sierra Leone in May 2006 and started his charity work. He was granted Sierra Leone citizenship, making him the first African American to be granted full citizenship based on DNA.
  11. Since then, Isaiah become one of the African nation’s most visible supporters, who helped in building schools, wells, medical supplies and also foreign investments, through his foundation.
  12. In recognition for his service to the people of Sierra Leone, he has been vested with a chieftaincy title of the Mende people, taking the regnal name of Gondobay Manga II.
  13. Before taking up the acting career, Washington was in the United States Air Force, and had a dream of becoming the second “General Washington.” He even wanted to become a professional football player in his school days.
  14. For his role as Dr. Preston Burke, he was honored as one of “TV’s Sexiest Men” in June 2006, and one of “TV’s Sexiest Doctors” in June 2008 by TV Guide. He was also named as one of People’s “50 Beautiful People” in May 2006.

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