Denzel Washington rescued himself from a life of crime and drug-taking when he realised his bad behaviour was hurting his mother. The Oscar-winning star was heavily involved with drug-taking street gangs in his youth, and admits he did "everything in his power to end his life" as a teenager. But his mothers pleas eventually hit home and he turned his life around. Washington, 51, says, "While others were getting on with their lives, I was doing everything in my power to shorten mine. "Like a lot of teenagers, I started to experiment with drugs. Everyone was getting strung out on heroin. My experience wasn't unique. "My mother would say, 'Don't do this, don't do that.' But I was at the age where it was like, 'Those are the very things I want to do right now. "In those situations, everyone gets a tap on the shoulder at some point. My thing was that I didn't get caught and I started to listen when I realised my mother really cared about me."