• DENZEL & PAULETTE, 28 YEARS  photo | Denzel Washington

Credit: Steve Grayson/WireImage

Published: Sunday February 12, 2012 06:00 AM EST

2012

DENZEL & PAULETTE, 28 YEARS

When Washington landed his first professional acting gig (in the 1977 TV drama Wilma), he had no idea that the job benefits included meeting his bride-to-be Pauletta Pearson. Now, 28 years and four children later, the Oscar-winning actor reveals his secret to wedded bliss to PEOPLE: "Do what your wife tells you and keep your mouth shut."