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Denzel credits his mother, Lennis, for keeping him grounded as he was starting to make a name for himself as an actor. "I remember coming home one time and feeling full of myself and talking, 'Did you imagine all this? I mean, I'm a star,'" Denzel says. "And she's, like, 'Negro, please. First of all, you don't know how many people been praying for you and for how long.' Then she told me to get the bucket and the squeegee and clean the windows."
Lennis says she didn't know what would happen to Denzel, but she expected big things. "The thing that I remember most about my mother and my father, who were both ministers, is each night just before she'd go to sleep, she would pray. And her prayer was, 'God bless my children and my children's children.'"