Viola Davis is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist who was born to Mary Alice and Dan Davis. She has received a number of honors, including an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award.
Davis is the first African-American actress to earn the Triple Crown in acting. She attended Central Falls High School and Rhode Island College before graduating in 1988, concentrating on acting and participating in the National Student Exchange.
Similarly, she attended the Juilliard School for four years, where she was a part of the Drama Division’s “Group 22.” (1989-93).
Viola was born on August 11, 1965, in St. Matthews, South Carolina, and grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, with Mary Alice and her father, Dan Davis, as well as five additional siblings.
Her mother, Mary, worked as a maid, factory worker, and housewife, while her father was a horse trainer. The family was underprivileged and faced serious financial challenges.
Davis was born on her grandmother’s farm, Singleton Plantation. Her family consisted of six children, four sisters, and one brother.
Her parents moved Davis and two of her older siblings to Central Falls, Rhode Island, shortly after she was born, leaving her other siblings with her grandparents.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Viola’s mother was also an activist. Davis was arrested during a civil rights march when she was two years old and sent to jail with her mother.
She has described her childhood as one of “severe poverty and disarray,” recalling living in “rat-infested and condemned” apartments.