Rhode Island College
The Juilliard School
Starred in the Denzel Washington-directed film adaptation of the August Wilson play "Fences"
Nabbed a supporting role in the feature-length drama "Custody"
Played the iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman in a biographical film about Tubman's life
Appeared alongside Margot Robbie and Will Smith in the comic book adaptation "Suicide Squad"
Nominated for a Primetime Emmy for her role in "How To Get Away With Murder"
Starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in action thriller "Lila and Eve"
Starred in action drama "Blackhat" opposite Chris Hemsworth
Starred in ABC drama "How To Get Away With Murder"
Co-starred in James Brown biopic "Get On Up"
Co-starred in art house dramas "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: her" and "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him"
Cast as seer Amma in feature adaptation of young adult fantasy novel "Beautiful Creatures"
Featured in the drama "Prisoners"
Co-starred in fantasy thriller "Ender's Game"
Played a determined teacher alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal in inner city school drama "Won’t Back Down"
Earned critical raves for playing strong-willed 1960s maid Aibileen Clark in film adaptation of bestseller "The Help"
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
Played supporting role opposite Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in action/comedy "Knight and Day"
Joined Denzel Washington for the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s "Fences"
Co-starred with Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love," based on Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir
Cast as a pathologist in thriller "State of Play"
Appeared as a minister in Tyler Perry's "Medea Goes to Jail"
Cast as Mrs. Miller in John Patrick Shanley's film adaptation of his play "Doubt"
Cast in short-lived ABC series "Traveler" as Agent Jan Marlow
Played Fantasia's mother in Lifetime biopic "Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story"
Played the grandma in "Get Rich or Die Tryin,'" directed by Jim Sheridan and starring 50 Cent
Cast in short-lived CBS series "Century City" as lawyer Hannah Crane
Starred in off-Broadway production of "Intimate Apparel"
Landed recurring role on NBC drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
Featured in Todd Haynes-directed "Far from Heaven," starring Julianne Moore
Cast in Denzel Washington's directorial debut "Antwone Fisher"
Co-starred in third collaboration with Steven Soderbergh, "Solaris"
Portrayed Tonya in Broadway production of August Wilson's "King Hedley II"
Appeared in ABC telecast of Oprah Winfrey's "Amy & Isabelle," an adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's acclaimed debut novel
Re-teamed with director Soderbergh to play a social worker in "Traffic"
Played Nurse Lynnette Peeler on short-lived CBS drama "City of Angels"
Cast as Cary Elwes' secretary in HBO film "The Pentagon Wars"
Featured in Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight"
Made TV debut on an episode of "NYPD Blue" (ABC)
Played a nurse in film debut "The Substance of Fire"
Made Broadway debut in August Wilson's "Seven Guitars"; earned a Tony nomination
After Whoopi Goldberg, Davis was the second African-American actress to be nominated for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the Academy awards.
Was chosen as one of Time's Most Influential People in the World in 2012.
In addition to her screen acting, has also appeared in numerous plays both in New York and Los Angeles.
Was the first African-American woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, for "How To Get Away With Murder" in 2015.
"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." -- Time, August 5, 2011
"There are few movies coming out this year with African-American women in them. Very few are being made. Black actresses have enough obstacles in our way without someone protesting an opportunity for us to show our work on screen. It’s one thing if you go see 'The Help' and you don’t like it. But give it a chance!" -- On complaints about playing a maid in "The Help," from Entertainment Weekly, August 12, 2011
"In 2015, just like people say men have to ‘man up’, we have to ‘woman up’ and live our truths through our work and define ourselves in our terms, not the Mr. Potato Head model of male desirability." - from The Guardian, December 20, 2015
"Acting is not rocket science, but it is an art form. What you are doing is illuminating humanity." - from Elle, January 21, 2016