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Viola Davis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (9)

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)

Trivia (17)

Graduated from The Juilliard School.
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" in 2004.
She is the daughter of Mary and Dan Davis. Dan was a horse-groomer for the Narrangasett and Lincoln Downs racetracks in Rhode Island.
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 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).
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World (2012).
Starring in the play "Intimate Apparel" at the Mark Taper Forum. [September 2004]
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" in 2010.
Stepmother to Julius Tennon's two sons from previous relationships.

Personal Quotes (9)

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.

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