Omari Hardwick says Denzel Washington and family saved him from homelessness

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

When actor Omari Hardwick first got to Hollywood, he was a substitute teacher and high school football coach who moonlighted as a firefighter. He turned down the chance for a full-time firefighting job for what he thought was a big break in a Spike Lee project, but when the project didn’t get picked up, he was left homeless.

That’s when Denzel Washington and the two-time Oscar winner’s family jumped in to help.

In a recent interview with Loni Love, Hardwick explained that he met Washington’s son, John David, and became close to the family while he was coaching, so when he was jobless, they stepped in to help.

“They perfectly and appropriately didn’t help me out. They gave me shelter when I didn’t have a place to stay or whatever but they sort of allowed me to be close enough to the family so I sort of transitioned into getting an agent…the whole thing…doing all these odd jobs,” he recalled, adding that they even helped him to keep up payments for his car.

Hardwick was finally able to get back on his feet, and when he did, he paid back the Washingtons for their kind deeds. The family framed the check he sent them, because they were so proud of how far he had come.