Denzel Washington Fights Back Tears While Discussing His Late Mother (Video)

Denzel Washington on the Dec. 15 episode of 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.' Credit: CBS/The Late Show/Twitter

Denzel Washington shared just how much his mother, who passed away this year at age 97, meant to him while visiting The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

During Wednesday night’s episode, Washington fondly recalled his relationship with his mom.

“A mother is a son’s first true love. A son, especially that first son, is a mother’s last true love. That’s… I’m getting choked up. Sorry,” the Oscar-winning actor said while fighting back tears and taking a sip from a coffee cup.

Related Story: Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Beyoncé Pick Up Golden Globe Nominations

Washington then told host Stephen Colbert he truly began to understand a mother’s bond from his wife Pauletta’s relationship with their eldest son John David Washington.

“She was there for everything — and then she went home,” Washington said.

Colbert handed him a tissue while the late-night host showed the audience a photo of Washington with his mother the night he won a best supporting actor Oscar for 1989’s Glory

“This is terrible. And I didn’t cry at her funeral,” the emotional 66-year-old actor said. Colbert asked, “Why do you think?”

“I don’t know, I guess I saved it all up for you,” Washington joked while laughing. 

He was on the show to promote his new film, The Tragedy of Macbeth, which opens in limited release on Christmas Day.

The movie is based on the tragic play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. The drama is written and directed by Joel Coen — the first time a Coen brother is making a movie solo. 

The film co-stars Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, and Harry Melling. It starts streaming on Apple TV+ on Jan. 14.

Watch a clip of Washington’s interview above.