Viola Davis is an award-winning actress best known for her roles in the TV series ‘How to Get Away With Murder,’ the Broadway productions of ‘King Hedley II,’ and the film adaptation of ‘Fences.’
Viola Davis was born and raised in Rhode Island, where she began acting in high school and subsequently at Rhode Island College. Davis made her Broadway debut in Seven Guitars in 1996 after attending the Juilliard School of Performing Arts.
She received Tony Awards for her roles in King Hedley II (2001) and Fences (2010), in which she co-starred with Denzel Washington.
Doubt (2008), for which she garnered an Oscar nomination, The Help (2011), Ender’s Game (2013), and Get on Up (2014) are among her cinematic credits (2014).
For her role in the television series How to Get Away with Murder, she became the first African American woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2015.
She repeated her role as Rose Maxson in the 2016 film adaptation of Fences, directed by and co-starring Washington, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2017.
Davis sought an escape from her family’s financial troubles while growing up in Rhode Island by watching movies. Her father worked as a horse groomer at racetracks.
She realized her passion for performing in high school. Davis received her bachelor’s degree in drama from Rhode Island College in 1988. She then went on to study at the prestigious Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York City.
Davis quickly made a reputation for herself in the New York theater community. In 1996, she made her Broadway debut in August Wilson’s melancholy comedy Seven Guitars.
Davis starred in the drama as Vera, a lady who reconciles with the partner who had betrayed her. She collaborated with Wilson again on his 2001 play King Hedley II, for which she received her first Tony Award.