An attractive character actor who often played heavies due to his commanding presence, Washington spent two decades building up an impressive résumé before a TV role turned him into a small-screen sex symbol. After a stint in the Air Force, the handsome player studied acting at Howard University and honed his skills in regional theater. By the early 1990s he was working steadily on both the big and small screens, notably in a string of Spike Lee movies. Although he had done guest spots on myriad series, Grey's Anatomy marked his first time as a regular cast member and he immediately struck a chord as a sensitive, overachieving surgeon. Although Washington left the show in 2007 following an on-going controversy over an alleged confrontation with costars Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight, he continued to act on the small screen with appearances on The Cleaner and Bionic Woman. In his spare time, Washington is a model-airplane hobbyist.