Viola Davis is an actress best known for her award winning performances in the films “Traffic”, “Doubt” and “The Help”. She was born on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina. She was the second of six children born to Dan Davis, a horse trainer and Mary Alice, a maid and civil rights activist. The family moved to Rhode Island soon after Viola’s birth. Davis got into acting from an early age; first at Central Falls High School and later when she majored in theatre at Rhode Island College from where she graduated in 1988. She then attended the elite Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York City from 1989 to 1993.
Davis had several prominent roles in her career. She made her Broadway debut in 1996 with the play “Seven Guitars” written by August Wilson. In 2001, she played the role of Tonya in Wilson’s play King Hedley II. In this she played the role of a mother who fights for her right to abort a pregnancy. For her performance, she won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award. In 2004, she appeared in an Off-Broadway production called “Intimate Apparel” for which she won another Drama Desk Award. In 2008, she starred in the Broadway play “Doubt” alongside Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. Her performance was critically acclaimed and she received a Golden Globe as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Her work on the big screen includes several prominent films such as “Out of Sight”, “Solaris” and “Traffic”, all directed by Steven Soderbergh. She made brief appearances in the films “Kate & Leopold” and “Antwone Fisher”. In 2010, she received her second Tony Award for performing in August Wilson’s play “Fences”. Davis is only the second African American woman to have won this award. The same year, she appeared in the comedy film “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” also starring Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts. The film was based on an adaptation of a 2006 novel of the same name.
2011 was another productive year for Davis. She received