For the first 23 years of his life, before he embarked on a circuitous two-decade acting career and the breakout role of Dr. Preston Burke on Grey's Anatomy, Isaiah Washington walked a very straight line.
He woke up every day knowing exactly what he was supposed to do and who he was supposed to be. Everyone in his suburban Houston neighborhood — where he did his homework, got good grades and stayed out of trouble — knew he was going to get a football scholarship to pay his way through college. But even when that didn't happen, he simply went to the backup plan and joined the Air Force, where he learned enough about aerospace engineering to land a successful private sector job in Washington, D.C.
Throughout it all, he showed up every day and worked hard, and if he had any questions, he asked someone in charge: a coach, a superior officer, a boss. He got married the day aft