Born: 3 August 1963
Birthplace: Houston, Texas
Best known as: The guy who got fired from Grey's Anatomy
Actor Isaiah Washington played Dr. Preston Burke on the TV series Grey's Anatomy, but was dumped from the show in 2007, eight months after causing a hullabaloo by insulting cast member T.R. Knight. Washington got his acting start at Howard University before heading to New York. His early movie jobs included working with Spike Lee in such films as Crooklyn (1994), Clockers (1995) and Get On the Bus (1996), and Washington found steady work Hollywood productions and TV shows. By the end of the 1990s he had played plenty of smalltime hoods, but he'd also had notable roles in Bulworth (1998, starring Warren Beatty) and Out of Sight (1999, starring Jennifer Lopez). Washington appeared with Jet Li in Romeo Must Die in 2000, followed by Exit Wounds (2001, also with DMX) and Hollywood Homicide (2003, with Josh Hartnett), then landed the role of Burke on Grey's Anatomy. After two seasons on the hit show Washington made headlines in October 2006 when he and co-star Patrick Dempsey locked horns on the set. The story goes that Washington, addressing Dempsey, referred to co-star T.R. Knight using an "anti-homosexual" epithet. Washington apologized publicly, announced he would undergo counseling and made public service announcements for gay and lesbian advocacy groups. By June of 2007 the dust had settled, but Washington's contract was not renewed and he left the cast of Grey's Anatomy.
Extra credit: Washington traces his ancestry to Sierra Leone, where he has founded a non-profit development organization... Washington is also an advocate for research into the neurological disorder narcolepsy.
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