Fun Fact: Which Famous Actor Had His First Paid Role in St. Mary’s County?

Denzel Washington’s first paid acting role came out of a summer spent in Saint Mary’s City, Maryland.

The St. Mary’s Outdoor Drama Group was formed to produce “Wings of the Morning,” a bicentennial drama about the story of Maryland’s founding. Billed as “one of Maryland’s Top 20 Bicentennial Events,” the production was said to celebrate the historical significance of the state’s founding with “humor, dancing and song.”

Denzel Washington was cast as Mathias de Sousa, the first African American to settle in the colony of Maryland and possibly the first to serve in the colonial Maryland legislature.

Similarly, Washington was the first Black actor to receive two Academy Awards — best supporting actor in 1990 for his role in “Glory” and then best actor 12 years later for his performance in “Training Day.”

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Allison Valliant to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.