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Viola Davis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (32) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 11 August 1965Saint Matthews, South Carolina, USA
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), a maid and factory worker, was also a civil rights activist. Davis was educated at Central Falls High School, where she developed a love of acting. She studied theater at Rhode Island College, and also attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.

Davis made her screen debut with a small role as a nurse in 1996's The Substance of Fire (1996). Guest spots followed in various TV shows and films, and in 2000 she won the role of Nurse Lynnette Peeler in City of Angels (2000). In 2001, Davis appeared on Broadway in the play, 'King Hedley II', for which she was awarded a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Davis has worked with Steven Soderbergh on three projects - Traffic (2000), Solaris (2002) and Syriana (2005). Other projects include Far from Heaven (2002), Antwone Fisher (2002) and Disturbia (2007). In 2008, she played Mrs. Miller in Doubt (2008), for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. In 2011, she won critical acclaim for her starring role as Aibileen Clark in the box-office hit The Help (2011).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Julius Tennon (23 June 2003 - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Her natural hair
Often plays longsuffering mothers (e.g. Doubt, Antwone Fisher, Get on Up, Fences)

Trivia (32)

Daughter and Mary and Dan Davis. Dan was a horse-groomer for the Narrangasett and Lincoln Downs racetracks in Rhode Island.
Won Broadway's 2001 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for August Wilson's "King Hedley II". She had previously been nominated in the same category in 1996 for another Wilson play, "Seven Guitars".
Won the 2005 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for "Intimate Apparel" (2004).
Attended and graduated from the Juilliard School.
Attended Rhode Island College and majored in theater.
Grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Her family moved there when she was 2-months old.
Inducted into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) on June 30, 2009.
Announced that she and her husband, Julius Tennon, have adopted a newborn daughter named Genesis Tennon. [October 2011]
In 2012, Davis told Entertainment Weekly that she and her husband stayed at George Clooney's Italian estate on Lake Como for their honeymoon.
Is one of 10 African-American actresses to be Oscar-nominated for 'Best Actress in a Leading Role'. The others in chronological order are Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe and Quvenzhané Wallis.
Is one of two African-American actresses (the other being Whoopi Goldberg) to be nominated for an Academy Award in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.
Returned to work 4 months after adopting her daughter Genesis to begin filming Ender's Game (2013).
Named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World (2012).
Was named Glamour Magazine's Film Actress of the Year in 2012.
Won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in "Fences" (2010).
Stepmother to Julius Tennon's two sons from previous relationships.
As of 2017, has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Traffic (2000), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), The Help (2011) and Fences (2016).
Is the first black actress to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for How to Get Away with Murder (2014).
Is one of five actresses to receive an Oscar nomination for a performance with less than 10 minutes of screen time.
She was nominated for the 1996 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for "Seven Guitars" on Broadway in New York City.
She was awarded the 1996 Drama Logue Award for Performance for "Seven Guitars" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
She was awarded the 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Lead Performance for "Intimate Apparel" in association with Roundabout Theatre Company production at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Oprah Winfrey and beau Stedman Graham attended her 'third' marriage to Julius.
She was awarded for a 2001 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for "King Hedley II" on Broadway in New York City.
She was awarded for a 2001 New York Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for "King Hedley II" on Broadway in New York City.
She was awarded the 2004 Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play for "Intimate Apparel" in association with Roundabout Theatre Company production at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
She was awarded for a 2001 New York Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for "King Hedley II" on Broadway in New York City.
She was awarded for the 2004 Back Stage Garland Award for Outstanding Performance for "Intimate Apparel" in association with Roundabout Theatre Company production at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Counts Cicely Tyson's Emmy-winning performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) as a pivotal moment in her life when she ultimately understood how acting could be such a transformative craft.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7013 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 5, 2017.
Given the choice, she prefers the stage to film acting. Friends with Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep.

Personal Quotes (11)

We grew up in abject poverty. Acting, writing scripts and skits were a way of escaping our environment at a very young age.
[on why she's not inspired to direct] I can't deal with actors! I can't deal with myself. We're neurotic and miserable... I love doing what I'm doing, but while I'm doing it, I'm miserable.
[on undertaking the role of Aibileen in The Help (2011)]: I absolutely feel that she just had the nurturing instinct. You know, it's like my mom. She's said she's taken care of kids since she was four years old, and she's now sixty-eight. That's all she knew,, which was to take care of kids. She also had seventeen of her brothers and sisters and cousins and all of that - and she was always taking care of them. I myself was delivered by my grandmother.
The thing about the African-American community compared with the white community is, we are more concerned with image and message than execution. I don't play roles that are necessarily attractive or portray a positive image. They are well-rounded characters. When you squelch excellence to put out a message it's like passing the baton and seeing it drop.
[on roles for African-American actresses] You're not doing the Irish and Scottish accents they taught at Juilliard. In the real world you're doing Ebonics and Jamaican.
[on performing with Jeremy Irons in 'Beautiful Creatures'] He's a total hippie. Here's this grand, talented man who counters it with just humility - very casual and loose. So it was a joy to work with him in the swamps.
People migrate toward material when they reach a certain age, especially if they're a certain hue, certain gender. I have had so many wonderful film roles where I wasn't the show. It's like being invited to a really fabulous party, only to hold up the wall. I wanted to be the show. I wanted to be character that took me out of my comfort zone.
[on playing Annalise Keating in 'How To Get Away With Murder'] The challenge for any writer, any artist, is to somehow combine art with the mess that we call life. I spent too much time in my career - probably too much - trying to force writers to write for me in a way that was bold. Well, you know what? This is it. This is bold.
[on why Meryl Streep is the greatest actress] Meryl Streep is the greatest actress because you can see so many different emotions going on in her eyes. ... It's a joy as an artist.
The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.
"The happily ever after comes after you've done the work.

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