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11 July 2012

Viola Davis

Viola Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress.
Beginning her career on the stage, Davis won a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for her role in King Hedley II (2001). She won a second Drama Desk Award for Intimate Apparel (2004). She won a second Tony and a third Drama Desk Award for her role in Fences (2010).[1]
Some of her notable films include Traffic (2000), Antwone Fisher (2002), Solaris (2002) and The Help (2011). Her eleven-minute-long performance in the film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt (2008) earned several honors, including an Academy Award nomination. Her role in the film The Help has garnered two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a BAFTA Award nomination, another Academy Award nomination, and a Golden Globe nomination.[2] In addition to her success, she was listed in Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012.[3]

Early life

Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the former Singleton Plantation, in St. Matthews, South Carolina.[4] She is the second youngest of six children.[5] Her mother, Mary Alice, was a maid, factory worker, and homemaker, and her father, Dan Davis, was a horse trainer.[6][7][8] Her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island a few months after she was born.[9] Davis has described herself as having "lived in abject poverty and dysfunction" during her childhood.[10]
Davis partially credits her love of stage acting with her involvement in the arts at her alma mater, Central Falls High School.[11] Davis majored in theatre at Rhode Island College, graduating in 1988; in 2002 she received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the college.[12] She was involved in the federal TRIO Upward Bound and TRIO Student Support Services programs.[13] While Davis was a teenager, her talent was recognized by Bernard Masterson when, as director of Young People's School for the Performing Arts in West Warwick, Rhode Island, he awarded Davis a scholarship into that program.[14]
She also attended the Juilliard School for four years,[7] as a member of the Drama Division's Group 22 (1989–1993).[15]

Career

In 2001, she won the Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Tonya in King Hedley II, a "35-year-old mother fighting eloquently for the right to abort a pregnancy."[16] She has also won another Drama Desk Award for her work in a 2004 off-Broadway production of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.
Davis appeared in numerous films, including three films directed by Steven Soderbergh - Out of Sight, Solaris and Traffic, as well as Syriana, which Soderbergh produced. Viola was also the uncredited voice of the parole board interrogator who questions Danny Ocean (George Clooney) in the first scene in Ocean's Eleven.[17] She also gave brief performances in the films Kate & Leopold and Antwone Fisher. Her television work includes a recurring role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; starring roles in two short-lived series, Traveler and Century City; and a special guest appearance in "Badge", a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode.
In 2008, Davis played Mrs. Miller in the film adaption to the Broadway play, Doubt with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. She was nominated for several awards for this performance, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.[18]
On June 30, 2009, Davis was inducted into The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[19]
On June 13, 2010, Davis won her second Tony Award for her role as Rose Maxson in a revival of August Wilson's Fences.[20] She is the second African-American woman to win the award, after Phylicia Rashād.
Davis played the role of Dr. Minerva in It's Kind of a Funny Story, a coming-of-age film written and directed by Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck, adapted from the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini.[21]
In August 2011, Davis played the role of Aibileen Clark in the screen adaptation of the novel The Help, directed by Tate Taylor. For her performance, Davis garnered numerous award nominations, including a Golden Globe Award, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild,[2] and an Academy Award
In 2012, Time Magazine listed Davis as one of the most influential people in the world.[22]Also in 2012, Glamour Magazine named Davis Glamour's Film Actress of the year.[23]
On June 12, 2012, Davis was presented with the Women in Film's Crystal Award by her friend and Oscar rival that year Meryl Streep.[24]
On June 25, 2012, The Walk of Fame Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Davis was part of the new group of entertainment professionals who have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.[25]

Personal life

Davis has been married to actor Julius Tennon since June 2003. They have a daughter, Genesis, whom they adopted as a newborn in October 2011. Davis is stepmother to Tennon's two sons from previous relationships.[26]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Substance of Fire Nurse
1998 Out of Sight Moselle
2000 Traffic Social Worker
2001 The Shrink Is In Robin
2001 Kate & Leopold Policewoman
2002 Far from Heaven Sybil
2002 Antwone Fisher Eva May Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2002 Solaris Gordon Nominated — Black Reel Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin' Grandma
2005 Syriana CIA Chairwoman uncredited
2006 The Architect Tonya Neely
2006 World Trade Center Mother in hospital
2007 Disturbia Detective Parker
2008 Nights in Rodanthe Jean
2008 Doubt Mrs. Miller
2009 Madea Goes to Jail Ellen
2009 State of Play Dr. Judith Franklin
2009 Law Abiding Citizen Mayor April Henry
2010 Knight & Day Director George
2010 Eat Pray Love Delia Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
2010 It's Kind of a Funny Story Dr. Minerva
2010 Trust Gail Friedman
2011 The Help Aibileen Clark African American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Actress
Black Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
BET Award for Best Actress
Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Iowa Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Indiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
North Texas Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Houston Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — New York Film Critics Online for Best Actress (runner-up)
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society for Best Actress
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated — St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
2011 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Abby Black
2012 Beautiful Creatures Amma Based on the novel Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
2012 Won't Back Down

2013 Ender's Game Major Anderson

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1996 NYPD Blue Woman Episode: "Moby Greg"
1996 New York Undercover Mrs. Stapleton Episode: "Smack is Back"
1998 The Pentagon Wars Platoon Sgt. Fanning
1998 Grace & Glorie Rosemary Allbright
2000 Judging Amy Celeste Episode: "Blast from the Past"
2000 City of Angels Nurse Lynnette Peeler 19 episodes
2001 Amy & Isabelle Dottie
2001 Providence Dr. Eleanor Weiss Episode: "You Can Count On Me"
2001 The Guardian
Episode: "The Men from the Boys"
2001 Third Watch Margo Rodriguez Episode: "Act Brave"
2002 Father Lefty

2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Terry Randolph Episode: "Badge"
2002 The Division Dr. Georgia Davis Episode: "Remembrance"
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Attorney Campbell Episode: "The Execution of Catherine Willows"
2003 Hack Stevie Morgan Episode: "Third Strike"
2003 The Practice Aisha Crenshaw Episode: "We the People"
2004 Century City Hannah Crane 9 episodes
2005 Jesse Stone: Stone Cold Molly Crane
2005 Threshold Victoria Rossi Episode: "Shock"
2006 Jesse Stone: Night Passage Molly Crane
2006 Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise Molly Crane
2006 Without a Trace Audrey Williams Episode: "White Balance"
2006 Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story Diane Barrino
2007 Fort Pit

2007 Jesse Stone: Sea Change Molly Crane
2007 Traveler Agent Jan Marlow 8 episodes
2008 Brothers & Sisters Ellen Snyder Episode: "Double Negative"
2008 The Andromeda Strain Dr. Charlene Barton
2003–08 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Donna Emmett 7 episodes from 2003 until 2008
2009 United States of Tara Lynda P Frazier Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Theatre credits

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Seven Guitars Vera Broadway
Mar 28, 1996 - Sep 8, 1996
Theatre World Award
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Nominated — Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
1997 God's Heart Eleanor Off Broadway
1998 Pericles 2nd Fisherman/Lychorida/Bawd Off Broadway
1999 Everybody's Ruby Ruby McCollum Off Broadway
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
The Vagina Monologues Performer (Replacement) Off Broadway
2001 King Hedley II Tonya Broadway
May 1, 2001 - Jul 1, 2001
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
2004 Intimate Apparel Esther Off Broadway
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
Nominated —Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress
2010 Fences Rose Broadway Revival
Apr 26, 2010 - Jul 11, 2010
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play

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