Viola Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress and producer. The recipient of numerous accolades, Davis is one of the few performers to have been awarded an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (EGOT); additionally, she is the sole African-American to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting as well as the third person to achieve both statuses. Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2017, and in 2020, The New York Times ranked her ninth on its list of the greatest actors of the 21st century.
Davis began her career in Central Falls, Rhode Island, appearing in small stage productions. After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, she won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby. She played minor roles in film and television in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before earning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Tonya in the 2001 Broadway production of August Wilson's King Hedley II. Her film breakthrough came with her role as a troubled mother in the drama Doubt (2008), for which she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Davis won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role as Rose Maxson in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's play Fences.
For starring as a 1960s housemaid in the comedy-drama The Help (2011), Davis received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. From 2014 to 2020, she played lawyer Annalise Keating in the ABC drama series How to Get Away with Murder, for which she became the first black actress to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2015. In 2016, Davis reprised the role of Maxson in the film adaptation of Fences, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She played Amanda Waller in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with Suicide Squad (2016). In 2020, she portrayed Ma Rainey in the biopic Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, for which she received a fourth Academy Award nomination, becoming the most-Oscar-nominated black actress. Her performances in Widows (2018) and The Woman King (2022) earned her further nominations for the BAFTA Best Actress Award, making her the most-BAFTA-nominated black actress.
Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, are founders of a production company, JuVee Productions. Davis is also widely recognized for her advocacy and support of human rights and equal rights for women and women of color. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017 and became a L'Oréal Paris ambassador in 2019. The audiobook narration of her 2022 memoir Finding Me earned Davis a Grammy Award in 2023.
- Known ForActing
- BornAugust 11, 1965 (age 58)
- Place of BirthSaint Matthews, South Carolina, USA