Viola Davis Wikipedia

Viola Davis
Davis in 2010
Born(1965-08-11) August 11, 1965 (age 48)

St. Matthews, South Carolina, United States
Alma materRhode Island College (1988)

Juilliard School (1993)
Years active1996–present
Home townCentral Falls, Rhode Island
Spouse(s)Julius Tennon (m. 2003)
Viola Sophie Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress.

Beginning her career on the stage, Davis won a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for her role in August Wilson's King Hedley II (2001). She won a second Drama Desk Award for Intimate Apparel (2004), followed by a second Tony and a third Drama Desk Award for her role in Fences (2010).

Among her most notable films are Traffic (2000), Antwone Fisher (2002), Solaris (2002) and The Help (2011). Her eleven-minute-long performance in the film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt (2008) earned several honors, including an Academy Award nomination. Her role in the film The Help has garnered two Screen Actors Guild Awards (one for Lead Actress and one for Best Ensemble in a motion picture), a BAFTA Award nomination, another Academy Award nomination, and a Golden Globe nomination. In addition to her success, she was listed in Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. In 2014, Davis stars in the ABC legal thriller How to Get Away with Murder by Shonda Rhimes.


    Early life

    Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, on the former Singleton Plantation, in St. Matthews, South Carolina. She is the second youngest of six children. Her father, Dan Davis, was a horse trainer; her mother, Mary Alice, was a maid, factory worker, and homemaker, as well as a civil rights activist. Her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island a few months after she was born. Davis has described herself as having "lived in abject poverty and dysfunction" during her childhood.

    Davis partially credits her love of stage acting with her involvement in the arts at her alma mater, Central Falls High School. Davis majored in theatre at Rhode Island College, graduating in 1988; in 2002 she received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the college. She was involved in the federal TRIO Upward Bound and TRIO Student Support Services programs. While Davis was a teenager, her talent was recognized by Bernard Masterson when, as director of Young People's School for the Performing Arts in West Warwick, Rhode Island, he awarded Davis a scholarship into that program.

    She also attended the Juilliard School for four years, as a member of the Drama Division's Group 22 (1989–1993).


    In 2001, she won the Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Tonya in King Hedley II, a "35-year-old mother fighting eloquently for the right to abort a pregnancy." She has also won another Drama Desk Award for her work in a 2004 off-Broadway production of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.

    Davis appeared in numerous films, including three films directed by Steven Soderbergh – Out of Sight, Solaris and Traffic, as well as Syriana, which Soderbergh produced. Viola was also the uncredited voice of the parole board interrogator who questions Danny Ocean (George Clooney) in the first scene in Ocean's Eleven. She also gave brief performances in the films Kate & Leopold and Antwone Fisher. Her television work includes a recurring role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; starring roles in two short-lived series, Traveler and Century City; and a special guest appearance in "Badge", a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode. In 2008, Davis played Mrs. Miller in the film adaptation to the Broadway play Doubt, with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. Davis was nominated for several awards for this performance, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

    On June 30, 2009, Davis was inducted into The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On June 13, 2010, Davis won her second Tony Award for her role as Rose Maxson in a revival of August Wilson's Fences. She is the second African-American woman to win the award, after Phylicia Rashād.

    Davis played the role of Dr. Minerva in It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010), a coming-of-age film written and directed by Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck, adapted from the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini. In August 2011, Davis played the role of Aibileen Clark in the screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help, directed by Tate Taylor. For her performance, Davis garnered great critical acclaim, and eventually received two Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as her second Academy Award nomination, which she ultimately lost to her good friend Meryl Streep. She also received Golden Globe Award and BAFTA nominations for the same performance.

    In 2012, Time magazine listed Davis as one of the most influential people in the world. Also in 2012, Glamour magazine named Davis Glamour's Film Actress of the year. On June 12, 2012, Davis was presented with the Women in Film's Crystal Award by her friend and Oscar rival that year Meryl Streep. On June 25, 2012, The Walk of Fame Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Davis was part of the new group of entertainment professionals who have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.

    In April 2013 it was reported that Davis is in talks to play a starring role in the untitled Michael Mann-directed film that will star Chris Hemsworth and Maggie Casey as his love interest. Legendary Pictures is producing the thriller.

    In September 2013, it was announced that Davis would reunite with The Help director Tate Taylor in a biopic of James Brown playing Brown's mother. Her The Help co-star Octavia Spencer was also slated for a role. Davis later revealed that her daughter Genesis would also appear in the movie.

    In February of 2014, Davis joined the cast of Shonda Rhimes’ pilot How to Get Away with Murder as the lead character. It was picked up to series for the fall of 2014-15 on May 8, 2014.

    Personal life

    Davis has been married to actor Julius Tennon since June 2003. They have a daughter, Genesis, whom they adopted as a newborn in October 2011. Davis is stepmother to Tennon's two sons from previous relationships.


    1996Substance of Fire, TheThe Substance of FireNurse
    1998Out of SightMoselle Miller
    2000TrafficSocial Worker
    2001Shrink Is In, TheThe Shrink Is InRobin
    2001Kate & LeopoldPolicewoman
    2002Far from HeavenSybil
    2002Antwone FisherEva May
    2005Get Rich or Die Tryin'Grandma
    2005SyrianaCIA ChairwomanUncredited
    2006Architect, TheThe ArchitectTonya Neely
    2006World Trade CenterMother in hospital
    2007DisturbiaDetective Parker
    2008Nights in RodantheJean
    2008DoubtMrs. Miller
    2009Madea Goes to JailEllen
    2009State of PlayDr. Judith Franklin
    2009Law Abiding CitizenMayor April Henry
    2010Knight and DayDirector George
    2010Eat Pray LoveDelia
    2010It's Kind of a Funny StoryDr. Minerva
    2010TrustGail Friedman
    2011The HelpAibileen Clark
    2011Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseAbby Black
    2012Won't Back DownNona Alberts
    2013Beautiful CreaturesAmma
    2013Ender's GameMajor Anderson
    2013The Disappearance of Eleanor RigbyProfessor Lillian FriedmanPost-Production
    2013PrisonersNancy Birch
    2014Get on UpSusie BrownFilming
    2015Lila & EveLila WalcottFilming


    1996NYPD BlueWomanEpisode: "Moby Greg"
    1996New York UndercoverMrs. StapletonEpisode: "Smack is Back"
    1998Pentagon Wars, TheThe Pentagon WarsPlatoon Sgt. Fanning
    1998Grace & GlorieRosemary Allbright
    2000Judging AmyCelesteEpisode: "Blast from the Past"
    2000City of AngelsNurse Lynnette Peeler19 episodes
    2001Amy & IsabelleDottie
    2001ProvidenceDr. Eleanor WeissEpisode: "You Can Count On Me"
    2001Guardian, TheThe GuardianAttorney Suzanna ClemonsEpisode: "The Men from the Boys"
    2001Third WatchMargo RodriguezEpisode: "Act Brave"
    2002Father Lefty
    2002Law & Order: Criminal IntentTerry RandolphEpisode: "Badge"
    2002Division, TheThe DivisionDr. Georgia DavisEpisode: "Remembrance"
    2002CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationAttorney CampbellEpisode: "The Execution of Catherine Willows"
    2003HackStevie MorganEpisode: "Third Strike"
    2003Practice, TheThe PracticeAisha CrenshawEpisode: "We the People"
    2004Century CityHannah Crane9 episodes
    2005Jesse Stone: Stone ColdMolly Crane
    2005ThresholdVictoria RossiEpisode: "Shock"
    2006Jesse Stone: Night PassageMolly Crane
    2006Jesse Stone: Death in ParadiseMolly Crane
    2006Without a TraceAudrey WilliamsEpisode: "White Balance"
    2006Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino StoryDiane BarrinoTV movie
    2007Fort Pit
    2007Jesse Stone: Sea ChangeMolly Crane
    2007TravelerAgent Jan Marlow8 episodes
    2008Brothers & SistersEllen SnyderEpisode: "Double Negative"
    2008Andromeda Strain, TheThe Andromeda StrainDr. Charlene Barton
    2003–2008Law & Order: Special Victims UnitDonna Emmett7 episodes
    2009United States of TaraLynda P Frazier6 episodes
    2014How to Get Away with MurderAnnalise Dewittlead role

    Theatre credits

    1996Seven GuitarsVeraBroadway
    1997God's HeartEleanorOff Broadway
    1998Pericles2nd Fisherman/Lychorida/BawdOff Broadway
    1999Everybody's RubyRuby McCollumOff Broadway
    1999The Vagina MonologuesPerformer (Replacement)Off Broadway
    2001King Hedley IITonyaBroadway
    2004Intimate ApparelEstherOff Broadway
    2010FencesRoseBroadway Revival

    Awards and nominations

    Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Viola Davis

    Source: Wikipedia ( )
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