Viola Davis Biography
Viola Davis is an American actress and producer of African descent who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (EGOT). She serves as the sole African-American to gain the Triple Crown of Acting and the third person to achieve both statuses.
Viola Davis Education
Davis attended Rhode Island College after completing her high school studies at Central Falls High School. She graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor Of Arts degree majoring in Theatre. While in college, she partook in the National Student Exchange. She furthered her education at the Juilliard School where she studied for 4 years, graduating in 1993 with a Graduate diploma. From 1989 to 1993, she served as a member of the school’s Drama Division “Group 22.”
Davis partially credits her love for the stage to her high school alma mater. While she was a teenager, she partook in the federal TRIO Upward Bound and TRIO Student Support Services programs. While at the Young People’s School for the Performing Arts in West Warwick, Rhode Island, Bernard Masterson, the program’s director, noticed her talent. Rhode Island College granted her an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts in 2002. Indiana University granted her an honorary doctoral degree in fine arts on January 20, 2020.
Viola Davis Career
Davis serves as the sole African-American to gain the Triple Crown of Acting and the third person to achieve both statuses. Also, she has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (EGOT). In 2012 and 2017, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. The New York Times Magazine listed her in its list of the greatest actors of the 21st century, ranking her 9th, in 2020.
Davis started her career in Central Falls, Rhode Island when she appeared in small stage productions. She received an Obie Award in 1999 for her portrayal of Ruby McCollum in Everybody’s Ruby after graduating in 1993. Further, she played small roles in film and TV in the late 1990s and early 2000s before she won a Best Featured Actress in a Play Award for portraying Tonya in King Hedley II on Broadway in 2001. She attained a breakthrough in the portrayal of Mrs. Miller, a troubled mother, in Doubt in 2008. For her performance, she won a nomination for her first Academy Award.
2016 to present;
Davis played the role of Rose Maxson in the Broadway revival of the play, Fences. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in the play in 2010. In 2011, she starred in the role of Aibileen Clark, a housemaid in the 1960s, in the film, The Help. For ehr performance, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination. She starred in the role of Annalise Keating, a lawyer, in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. Her performance made her the first black actress to attain the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2015.
In 2016, she recurred her role as Rose Maxson in the film adaptation of Fences. For her performance, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2016, she starred in the role of Amanda Waller in DC’s Suicide Squad. She attained a fourth Academy Award nomination for portraying Ma Rainey in the biopic, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and thus became the most-Oscar-nominated black actress.
In 2018, she starred in Widows, and in 2022, she starred in The Woman King. For her performance in the film, she won nominations for the BAFTA Best Actress Award and thus she became r the most-BAFTA-nominated black actress. In 2017, she attained a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She started working as a L’Oréal Paris ambassador in 2019. The audiobook narration of her memoir Finding Me earned her a Grammy Award in 2023.
Davis and her husband founded the production company, JuVee Productions. She served as an executive producer of the crime drama film Lila & Eve which she also appeared in alongside Jennifer Lopez. In 2016, she produced and starred in Custody. She worked as the executive producer of the documentary, Giving Voice. Also, she served as the executive producer of The First Lady, in which she also starred as former First Lady Michelle Obama. She is set to work as an executive producer of Waller.
During her career, Davis has attained numerous awards and nominations. For her work on stage, she attained two Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, an Obie Award, and a Theater World Award. Further, she serves as the first actress of color to attain the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Also, she serves as the first African-American to garner five Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Davis also leveled for the most actress film wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards with six overall wins and the most awarded African-American. Additionally, she received nominations for six Golden Globes Awards and three British Academy Film Awards, where she won one of each aside from winning the Academy Best Supporting Actress Award for her work in Fences. Moreover, she became the first black entertainer to attain the Triple Crown of Acting after winning a competitive Oscar, Emmy, and Tony. Furthermore, she serves as the first actress of color to attain four Academy Award nominations.
In February 2023, Davis won the Grammy Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording Award for her audiobook narration of her 2022 memoir, Finding Me. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) recognized her for her work in Doubt (2008) with a Best Actress in a Supporting Role nomination, in The Help (2011) with a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination, and in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) with Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination. They granted her a Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her work in Fences (2016).
Philanthropy and Activism
Aside from her acting prowess, Davis is widely acknowledged for her advocacy and support of human rights and equal rights for women and women of color. In 2011, she donated money to a public library in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to prevent its closure. She donated money to Central Falls High School for its theater program in 2018.
Since 2014, Davis has worked with the Hunger Is campaign in efforts to eliminate childhood hunger across America. In September 2017, she began the $30K in 30 Days Project with Hunger Is and gave a $1,000 grant to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
She partnered with Vaseline to endorse the Vaseline Healing Project. As part of her partnership, she attended the innovation of a free community health center in Central Falls, Rhode Island in October 2016 which provides dermatological care to help repair the skin of those impacted by poverty globally. Additionally, she served as a speaker at the 2018 Women’s March event in Los Angeles. On New Year’s Eve 2020, she urged voters in Georgia who voted via mail or Dropbox to trace their ballots and directed them to VoteRiders for information.
Viola Davis Age
Davis was born on August 11, 1965, in St. Matthews, South Carolina, U.S.A. She is 58 years old as of 2023. Davis celebrates her birthday every August 11th annually.
Viola Davis Height
Davis stands at an approximate height of 5 feet and 5 inches
Viola Davis Family
Davis was born to Mae Alice Logan and Dan Davis on her grandmother’s farm on the Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews. Dan, her father, worked as a horse trainer while Alice, her mother, worked as a maid, factory worker, and homemaker. The second youngest of six children, her parents moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island with her older two siblings after she was born. Her other siblings remained with her grandparents.
During the Civil Rights Movement, her mother served as an activist. At the age of 2, Davis was taken to jail after her mother’s arrest during a civil rights protest. She is the second cousin of Mike Colter, an actor known for portraying Luke Cage.
Viola Davis Siblings
The second youngest of six children, Davis has four sisters and a brother.
Viola Davis Husband
Davis married Julius Tennon in June 2003. In 2011, they adopted an infant daughter named Genesis. They raise three kids including Genesis and two of Tennon’s two children from previous relationships. Genesis was born on July 10, 2010, and is 13 years old as of 2023. Julius works as an actor. She is a Christian who frequently attends services in Los Angeles at Oasis Church.
Viola Davis Net Worth
Davis has an estimated net worth ranging between $20 Million – $40 Million which she has earned through being an actress and producer.
Viola Davis How to Get Away with Murder
Davis joined the cast members of the legal drama thriller series, How to Get Away with Murder as Annalise Keating, the lead character, in February 2014. Annalise is a prominent and formidable criminal defense attorney working as a law professor at Middleton University in Philadelphia. She gets embroiled in a murder scheme with her students otherwise dubbed The Keating 5 whom she chose to intern at her firm.
For her performance, she attained the Primetime Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Award in September 2015, making her the first African-American to win the award. In 2016, she received a nomination for her second Primetime Emmy Award. In 2014 and 2015, she attained two Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Awards.
Davis also received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in TV Series Drama and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. She recurred her role as Annalise in a special two-hour crossover episode of How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal titled How to Get Away with Scandal.
Viola Davis Suicide Squad/DC Comics
Davis starred in the role of Amanda Waller in DC’s Suicide Squad in 2016 and its standalone sequel, The Suicide Squad in 2021. Waller is a harsh and shrewd government official who supervises the deadly operations of the Suicide Squad, an antihero/supervillain team.
She recurred her role as Waller in uncredited scenes of Peacemaker’s episodes; A Whole New Whirled and It’s Cow or Never as well as in Black Adam. In February 2023, it was announced that she would recur the role in the upcoming HBO Max TV series, Creature Commandos and Waller, where she’ll also work as its executive producer.
Viola Davis The Woman King
In 2022, Davis starred in the role of Nanisca in the historical action-adventure film, The Woman King. Nanisca is the general of an all-female military unit called the Agojie, which safeguarded the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th centuries. She instructs the successive generation of warriors to battle their foes.
Viola Davis Scandal
Davis recurred her role as Annalise Keating in a special two-hour crossover episode of How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal titled How to Get Away with Scandal. Her guest appearance in the film earned her a fourth Emmy Award nomination, and her first for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis EGOT
She has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. Thus, Davis earned the EGOT status, making her the 18th person to gain EGOT status. She attained the status in February 2023 after she won a Grammy for the audiobook narration of her 2022 memoir, Finding Me. Also, she won the Triple Crown of Acting, making her the third person to attain both statuses after Helen Hayes and Rita Moreno.
Viola Davis Grammy
In February 2023, Davis won the Grammy Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording Award for her audiobook narration of her 2022 memoir, Finding Me.
Viola Davis The Academy Awards/Oscars
Oscars are also known as The Academy Awards. Davis portrayed Mrs. Miller, a troubled mother, in Doubt in 2008. For her performance, she won a nomination for her first Academy Award/Oscar. In 2016, she recurred her role as Rose Maxson in the film adaptation of Fences.
For her performance, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She attained a fourth Academy Award nomination for portraying Ma Rainey in the biopic, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and thus became the most-Oscar-nominated black actress. Davis serves as the first actress of color to attain four Academy Award nominations.
Finding Me Viola Davis
On April 22, 2022, Davis published her memoir, Finding Me. The memoir chronicles her story as she relocates from a collapsing flat in Central Falls to the stage in New York City, and beyond. She also reveals her childhood experience in poverty, struggles with racism and discrimination, and the hurdles she faced on her path to success. In February 2023, Davis won the Grammy Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording Award for her audiobook narration of her 2022 memoir, Finding Me.
Viola Davis Michelle Obama
Davis served as the executive producer of Showtime’s The First Lady, where she also starred as the former First Lady, Michelle Obama for 10 episodes. She was criticized for her performance on social media, especially for her facial expressions during the film. Some said that the expressions were distracting and insulting.
Davis responded by saying that she found the comments incredibly hurtful and said that it was her job as a leader to make bold options. Also, she said for a figure as big as Michelle it was almost impossible to play without drawing criticism for doing too much or too little. Further, she said that she does not have any contact with Michelle and thus does not know what she thought of the performance.
Viola Davis Black Panther
Davis did not appear in Black Panther. However, she said that Gina Prince-Bythewood, director of The Woman King, always gave credit to the success of Marvel’s Black Panther for giving a chance for the birth of The Woman King. However, she urged people to understand that the two films are different and each has their own narrative.
Viola Davis Michael Jordan/Air: Courting a Legend
Michael personally requested Davis to play the role of his mother, Deloris Jordan, in the film, Air: Courting a Legend. The film chronicles the true occasions of the birth of the basketball shoreline, Air Jordan. In the film, Delores urges her son to hear out Nike instead of his original decision to join in Adidas.
Davis said that she was honored to learn that Jordan had personally recommended her to play the role of his mother. Moreover, she researched by watching videos of Deloris during the 80s so that she could play the role efficiently.
Viola Davis Hunger
Since 2014, Davis has worked with the Hunger Is campaign in efforts to eliminate childhood hunger across America. She said that one in 5 kids in the nation go to bed hungry including herself when she was younger because she grew up in creeping poverty. Further, she said that she did everything to procure food including storming in garbage cans and constantly stealing from local stores. During the 2014 Variety Power of Women luncheon, she wanted to eradicate hunger because everyone should be a child, grow up, and have a chance at the American dream.
Viola Davis New Movie
In August 2022, a report was made that Davis would star in the role of Dr. Volumnia Gaul in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Dr. Volumnia is the head game maker of the 10th Hunger Games and an instructor at the University.
In February 2023, it was announced that she would recur the role in both the upcoming HBO Max TV series, Creature Commandos and Waller, in which she’ll also work as its executive producer.
Viola Davis Instagram
Davis has an active Instagram account that has over 11.8 million followers. CLICK HERE to view her Instagram account.
Viola Davis Movies and TV Shows
Davis has starred in a number of films and TV shows during her career such as
- Out of Sight
- Ocean’s Eleven
- Nights in Rodanthe
- Law Abiding Citizen
- Beautiful Creatures
- Won’t Back Down
- Troop Zero
- The Unforgivable
- The Pentagon Wars
- City of Angels
- Jesse Stone: Stone Cold
- Century City
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit