VIOLA DAVIS (Veronica) Viola Davis is the first black actress to win Tony
("Fences" & "King Hedley II"), Oscar ("Fences") and Emmy ("How to Get Away with
Murder") awards. Davis is currently starring in the ABC series "How to Get Away
with Murder," from ABC Studios and Shondaland. The series, which drew 14.24
million viewers during its 2014 premiere, is a sexy, suspense-driven legal
thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and
mysterious criminal defense professor. In 2015, Davis received the Screen Actors
Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series," in
addition to becoming the first African American actress to receive the Primetime
Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series." In 2016, she
received her second Screen Actors Guild Award and her second Emmy nomination for
portraying Annalise Keating.
As her credits attest, Davis is in constant demand for a wide variety of roles.
In 2017, she was seen in "Fences" for Paramount Pictures. The film was directed
and produced by Denzel Washington and was adapted from August Wilson's play.
Davis garnered Critics Choice, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTAand an Academy awards in
the category of "Best Supporting Actress" for her portrayal of 'Rose Maxson.'
Davis also starred with Washington in the 2010 revival of the play on Broadway.
Her performance earned her a Tony Award, as well as the Drama Critics' Circle
Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. "Fences" was also
honored with the Tony Award for "Best Play Revival" and was the most profitable
theater production of the year.
In 2016, Davis was seen in the highly anticipated "Suicide Squad" with Will
Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. The film broke the all-time opening record
for August with $135 million. In 2015, Davis starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in
"Lila & Eve," the story of two mothers whose children are killed in drive-by
shootings. Davis also took the reins as a producer on this film, along with her
husband, Julius Tennon, for their company, JuVee Productions.
In 2012, Davis and her husband founded JuVee, with its focus being to give a
voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful and culturally relevant
narratives. The Los Angeles-based and artist driven company produces film,
television and digital content across all of entertainment. As their first
project, they optioned the rights to Ann Weisgarber's 2008 book The Personal
History of Rachel DuPree. JuVee Productions' projects include "Girls Like Us" an
adaptation of Rachael Lloyd's memoir which chronicles her falling prey to the
world of commercial sex exploitation and escaping to dedicate her life to fight
that very industry.
Additionally, it was recently announced that JuVee would be producing a drama
starring Davis and Lupita Nyong'o entitled "Woman King." Based on true events,
the film tells the story of a general of an all-female West African military and
her daughter. JuVee's TV projects include a docuseries entitled "The Last
Defense" that explores and exposes flaws in the American justice system and
"Black Don't Crack" an ABC comedy executive produced by Larry Wilmore.
In 2012, Davis received an Oscar nomination for "Best Actress" for her portrayal
of the heart-broken but stoic 'Aibileen Clark' in "The Help." Emma Stone, Bryce
Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer also starred. The film adaptation of Kathryn
Stockett's best-selling novel, directed by Tate Taylor, was set in Jackson,
Mississippi, during the turbulent 1960s, and was also nominated for an Academy
Award for "Best Picture." Davis won the Screen Actors Guildand Critics' Choice
"Best Actress" Awards for her portrayal of 'Aibileen,' and was also nominated
for a Golden Globe and British Academy Film Award. The film won a Screen Actors
Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" and a
Critics' Choice Award for "Best Acting Ensemble."
In 2008, Davis starred in the critically revered film "Doubt," based on John
Patrick Shanley's Tony Award-winning play, where she portrayed 'Mrs. Miller,'
the mother of a young boy who piques the fascination of a Catholic priest. Davis
shared the screen alongside Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and
an Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actress." The National Board of Review
recognized Davis with the Breakthrough Award and she was also honored by the
Santa Barbara Film Festival as a Virtuoso.
In 2013, film audiences saw Davis in four vastly different projects. In the film
adaptation of the popular science fiction novel "Ender's Game," Davis portrayed
military psychologist 'Major Gwen Anderson,' opposite Asa Butterfield, Hailee
Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford. In Warner Bros.' "Prisoners," a
dark thriller about two families shattered by the kidnapping of their daughters
on Thanksgiving Day, she starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Maria
Bello, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano. In "Beautiful Creatures," Davis joined
Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons in telling the tale of two teens confronting a
multi-generational curse. Warner Brothers and Alcon produced the film.
That same year, Davis had a six-episode arc in the Showtime's hit series "United
States of Tara," written by Academy-Award winner Diablo Cody. Davis portrayed
'Lynda P. Frazier,' a wildly eccentric artist and friend to 'Tara' (Toni
Davis won the Independent Spirit Award for "Best Supporting Female" in 2003 for
her performance in "Antwone Fisher." Additional film credits include, "Get On
Up," "Blackhat," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." "Knight and Day,"
"Nights in Rodanthe," "Madea Goes to Jail," "Law Abiding Citizen," "Disturbia,"
"Eat, Pray, Love," "It's Kind of a Funny Story," "The Architect," "Never Back
Down" and "Far From Heaven." She worked with director Steven Soderbergh on
"Solaris," "Traffic" and "Out of Sight," and in "Syriana," which Soderbergh
produced for director Stephen Gaghan.
In 2004, Davis starred in the stage in the Roundabout Theatre Company's
production of Lynn Nottage's play, "Intimate Apparel," directed by Daniel
Sullivan. She garnered the highest honors for an off-Broadway play, including
"Best Actress" awards from the Drama Desk, theDrama League, the Obie and the
Audelco Award. Davis was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award as well. She
reprised her role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles where she was
recognized with the Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Criticsand the Garland Awards.
In 2001, Davis was awarded a Tony for "Best Performance by a Featured Actress in
a Play" for her portrayal of 'Tonya' in "King Hedley II." She commanded the
attention of critics and audiences alike for her portrayal of "Tonya," a 35-year
old woman who is forced to fight for the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy.
Davis also received a Drama Desk Award in recognition of her work.
A graduate of The Julliard School, Davis received an Honorary Doctorate during
its 109th Commencement Ceremony and she also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine
Arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College. She resides in Los
Angeles with her husband and daughter.
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