Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington was mortified when his mother revealed intimate secrets about his childhood after he collected a Humanitarian Award on Thursday (10JUN04) night.

The HURRICANE star was delighted to win the BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA's gong at New York's WALDORF HOTEL but then cringed as LENNIS WASHINGTON told the amused audience about the egotistic, selfish and naive boy he once was.

The proud matriarch confessed, "He laughed at his own jokes. But he joined the Boys and Girls Clubs of America's Mount Vernon branch when he was six and never left.

"He learned there that men could be gentle and smart and understanding, and that he could be like that, too.

"Men like BILLY TAYLOR and CHARLIE WHITE, were present. In fact Denzel once asked White, "What can I be when I grow up?" he was shocked when he answered, 'Anything you want to be!'"

Denzel, who begged for donations to help fix the Mount Vernon building, said "The club is the reason I'm standing here."

15/06/2004 13:35