Viola Davis

Actress
Tony-winning actress Viola Davis' powerful and emotional performances in such plays as "Intimate Apparel" and "King Hedley II" made her a formidable presence on the American theater scene in the late 1990s and 2000s ... Read more »
Born: 08/10/1965 in St. Matthews, South Carolina, USA

Filmography

Actor (81)

How To Get Away With Murder 2014 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Blackhat 2015 (Movie)

Carol Barrett (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Lila and Eve 2015 (Movie)

Lila (Actor)

The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 87th Annual Academy Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Late Show With David Letterman 2012, 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Get On Up 2014 (Movie)

Susie Brown (Actor)

The 86th Annual Academy Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby 2014 (Movie)

Professor Friedman (Actor)

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her/Him 2014 (Movie)

Professor Lillian Friedman (Actor)

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him 2014 (Movie)

Professor Lillian Friedman (Actor)

Beautiful Creatures 2013 (Movie)

Amma (Actor)

CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Presenter

Celebration of Gospel 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Performer

Ender's Game 2013 (Movie)

Major Gwen Anderson (Actor)

Prisoners 2013 (Movie)

Nancy Birch (Actor)

Love, Marilyn 2012 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Oprah's Oscar Special 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

Teachers Rock 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Won't Back Down 2012 (Movie)

Nona Alberts (Actor)

20/20 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 2011 (Movie)

Abby Black (Actor)

The 65th Annual Tony Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Help 2011 (Movie)

Aibileen Clark (Actor)

Trust 2011 (Movie)

Gail Friedman (Actor)

Dark Girls 2010 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Eat Pray Love 2010 (Movie)

Delia Shiraz (Actor)

It's Kind of a Funny Story 2010 (Movie)

Dr. Eden Minerva (Actor)

Knight and Day 2010 (Movie)

Director George (Actor)

United States of Tara 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law Abiding Citizen 2009 (Movie)

Mayor (Actor)

State of Play 2009 (Movie)

Dr Judith Franklin (Actor)

Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail 2009 (Movie)

Ellen (Actor)

Brothers & Sisters 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Doubt 2008 (Movie)

Mrs Miller (Actor)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2003 - 2004, 2006, 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Nights in Rodanthe 2008 (Movie)

Jean (Actor)

The Andromeda Strain 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Disturbia 2007 (Movie)

Detective Parker (Actor)

Traveler 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

The Architect 2006 (Movie)

Tonya Neely (Actor)

Without A Trace 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

World Trade Center 2006 (Movie)

Mother in Hospital (Actor)

Get Rich or Die Tryin' 2005 (Movie)

Grandma (Actor)

Robert B. Parker's Stone Cold 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Syriana 2005 (Movie)

Marilyn Richards (Actor)

Threshold 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Century City 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

For the People 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hack 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Practice 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Antwone Fisher 2002 (Movie)

Eva (Actor)

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Far From Heaven 2002 (Movie)

Sybil (Actor)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

NYPD Blue 1996 - 1997, 1999 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

New York Undercover 1996 - 1997, 1999 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Providence 1999 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Solaris 2002 (Movie)

Helen Gordon (Actor)

The Division 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Guardian 1999 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Amy and Isabelle 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

City of Angels 1999 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Kate & Leopold 2001 (Movie)

Policewoman (Actor)

Third Watch 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Judging Amy 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Traffic 2000 (Movie)

Social Worker (Actor)

Grace & Glorie 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Out of Sight 1998 (Movie)

Moselle (Actor)

The Substance of Fire 1996 (Movie)

Nurse (Actor)

Jesse Stone: Night Passage (TV Show)

Actor

Jesse Stone: Sea Change (TV Show)

Actor

Poof! (TV Show)

Actor

The Pentagon Wars (TV Show)

Actor

The Shrink Is In (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Tony-winning actress Viola Davis' powerful and emotional performances in such plays as "Intimate Apparel" and "King Hedley II" made her a formidable presence on the American theater scene in the late 1990s and 2000s. Her profile in film and on television was somewhat lower, though she worked steadily in bit and supporting parts for directors ranging from Steven Soderbergh with "Out of Sight" (1998) and "Solaris" (2002) and Oliver Stone with "World Trade Center (2006), as well as in countless television series. Her turn as the morally ambiguous mother of a sexually abused student in "Doubt" (2008) gained near-universal acclaim from critics, as did her turn as a strong-willed Civil Rights-era maid in the smash hit "The Help" (2011). With each new role Davis demonstrated an impressive range that assured her considerable talent would be given the opportunity to shine for years to come.

Relationships

Genesis

Daughter
Adopted in October 2011 with her husband Julius Tennon

Dan Davis

Father
Worked at Rhode Island's Narragansett Trotting Park and Lincoln Downs for 25 years

Mae Davis

Mother

Deloris Grant

Sister

Julius Tennon Actor

Husband
Married June 23, 2003

Dianne Wright

Sister

EDUCATION

Rhode Island College

Providence , Rhode Island
As a teenager had attended the Upward Bound program held at the school; enrolled after completing high school

The Juilliard School

New York , New York
Graduated

Milestones

2013

Cast as seer Amma in feature adaptation of young adult fantasy novel "Beautiful Creatures"

2013

Featured in the drama "Prisoners"

2012

Played a determined teacher alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal in inner city school drama "Won’t Back Down"

2011

Earned critical raves for playing strong-willed 1960s maid Aibileen Clark in film adaptation of bestseller "The Help"

2011

Cast opposite Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," Stephen Daldry's feature adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel

2010

Played supporting role opposite Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in action/comedy "Knight and Day"

2010

Joined Denzel Washington for the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s "Fences"

2010

Co-starred with Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love," based on Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir; Roberts portrayed the author who, after a painful divorce, goes on a life-changing journey through Italy, India, and Indonesia

2009

Appeared as a minister in Tyler Perry's "Medea Goes to Jail"

2009

Cast as a pathologist in thriller "State of Play"

2008

Cast as Mrs. Miller in John Patrick Shanley's film adaptation of his play "Doubt"

2007

Cast in short-lived ABC series "Traveler" as Agent Jan Marlow

2006

Played Fantasia's mother in Lifetime biopic "Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story"

2005

Played the grandma in "Get Rich or Die Tryin,'" directed by Jim Sheridan and starring 50 Cent

2004

Starred in off-Broadway production of "Intimate Apparel"

2004

Cast in short-lived CBS series "Century City" as lawyer Hannah Crane

2003

Landed recurring role on NBC drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

2002

Third collaboration with director Soderbergh, "Solaris"

2002

Cast in Denzel Washington's directorial debut "Antwone Fisher"

2002

Featured in Todd Haynes directed "Far from Heaven," starring Julianne Moore

2001

Portrayed Tonya in Broadway production of August Wilson's "King Hedley II"

2001

Appeared in ABC telecast of Oprah Winfrey's "Amy & Isabelle," an adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's acclaimed debut novel

2000

Played Nurse Lynnette Peeler on short-lived CBS drama "City of Angels"

2000

Re-teamed with director Soderbergh to play a social worker in "Traffic"

1998

Cast as Cary Elwes' secretary in HBO film "The Pentagon Wars"

1998

Featured in Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight"

1996

Made Broadway debut in August Wilson's "Seven Guitars"; earned a Tony nomination

1996

Played a nurse in film debut "The Substance of Fire"

1996

First TV role, a small part on an episode of "NYPD Blue" (ABC)

Bonus Trivia

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"When I graduated from Juilliard, I remember thinking that there was no difference between me and any other student in the school; I wanted to do what they were doing. I want to do what Meryl Streep is doing. [W]hen you see black movies, they're always urban and funny, with pretty much the same actors, which is not a bad thing. The travesty is when you're not that: I don't speak Ebonics. I'm too old to be a homegirl. I'm not funny like that – sitcom, WB-UPN funny. So if I'm not that, then sometimes to the acting community you can be considered nothing, as opposed to being a wide range of things." – Davis quoted in the American Theatre magazine, September 2004

.

"What is there but a dream, you can’t trade in your dream for another dream. I am so proud to be an actor." – Davis accepting her 2012 Best Female Actor SAG Award for "The Help"

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