Viola Davis is a critically acclaimed American actress and producer known for her powerful performances in theater, television, and film. She was born on August 11, 1965, in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Davis grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and she has spoken openly about the hardships she faced during her childhood, including poverty and family dysfunction.
Education and Early Career: Davis discovered her love for acting at an early age and attended the Young People's School for the Performing Arts in West Warwick, Rhode Island. After high school, she studied at Rhode Island College, majoring in theater and graduating in 1988. Davis then attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City for four years as a member of the Drama Division's Group 22 (1989–1993).
Theater Career: Davis's theater career is extensive and distinguished. She won her first Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 2001 for her role in "King Hedley II" by August Wilson. She won her second Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2010 for her portrayal of Rose Maxson in the revival of Wilson's "Fences," a role she would later reprise in the film adaptation.
Film and Television Career: Davis's film career took off in the mid-2000s with notable roles in "Antwone Fisher" (2002) and "Doubt" (2008), for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress despite her minimal screen time. Her portrayal of Aibileen Clark in "The Help" (2011) further cemented her status as a leading actress, earning her another Oscar nomination.
In 2016, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Fences," becoming the first black actress to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony for acting – commonly referred to as the Triple Crown of Acting.
On television, Davis became the first African American woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Annalise Keating in the ABC drama series "How to Get Away with Murder", which ran from 2014 to 2020.
Personal Life: Davis is married to actor Julius Tennon, and they adopted a daughter in 2011. Off-screen, she is known for her activism and philanthropy, especially concerning issues of gender and racial equality.
Public Image and Influence: Davis has often been noted for her advocacy for women and people of color in the entertainment industry. She is recognized for pushing boundaries and addressing the lack of diversity in Hollywood. Her speeches, particularly at awards ceremonies, frequently highlight the importance of storytelling in shaping public consciousness and empowering disadvantaged communities.
Further Information: For more information about Viola Davis and her career, her memoir titled "Finding Me," published in 2022, is a good resource. You can also reference her IMDb profile for a comprehensive list of her work and award information. The film and TV databases are continually updated to reflect Davis's latest projects and achievements.