The Life of Viola Davis
She grew up in rat-infested, condemned apartments — but from a young age she had a dream. Now, she's the first black actress to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony. This is the story of Viola Davis.
Groundbreaking actress and liberated activist
She’s been chosen to play Michelle Obama in a new series. She is the first black woman to have won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony Award. She is Viola Davis. Davis was born in 1965 and grew up with her 4 sisters and brother in a mostly white neighborhood in Central Falls, Rhode Island. As a child, despite the food stamps her family received, she sometimes had to look for food in city trash cans or steal from supermarkets. At 7, she discovered theater and dreamed of becoming an actress.
At 26, she enrolled at the prestigious Juilliard School to study acting, after receiving a scholarship. In 1996, she was noticed by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh who offered her a part in Out of Sight alongside George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. At 46, she adopted a little girl with her husband, Julius Tennon. The same year, her part in The Help put her in the limelight and got her nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globes. In 2012, she was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People and founded JuVee Productions, a production company, and with her husband.
At 47, she decided to stop wearing wigs and extensions and to grow out her hair natural. In 2014, she partnered with the “Hunger Is” campaign which fights against child malnutrition. The same year, she was chosen to play an attorney on the hit series How to Get Away with Murder. At 51, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In January 2018, she spoke at the Women’s March organized in Los Angeles. At 53, she spoke out about unequal pay between white actresses and actresses of color. Today, Davis continues her journey as a committed actress and a liberated activist.