Phenomenal Women

Published on May 21st, 2010 | by thevyne


Spotlight On: Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Name: Viola Davis

Born: On her Grandmothers farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina but raised by her parents in Central Falls, Rhode Island

Education: B.A. in Fine Arts and an Honorary Doctorate both from Rhode Island College; Graduate of the Julliard School

Family Affair: Is one of three daughters to Dan and Marry Davis; Married to fellow actor Julius Tennon; They have two children from Julius’ previous relationship.

On the Big Screen: While she has appeared in several acclaimed films she is most known for her work on stage. A few of her films include, “Traffic”, “Antwone Fisher”, “Syriana”, “Nights in Rodanthe”, “Law Abiding Citizen”, and last years blockbuster, “Doubt”. This year she will be staring in the screen adaptation of “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts.

On the Small Screen: Viola has held several reoccurring roles on shows like Law & Order SVU, Law & Order Criminal Intent and most recently, The United States of Tara.

On the Stage: She is currently starring alongside Denzel Washington in the Broadway revival of “Fences” for which she was recently nominated for a Tony Award

Fun Fact: Viola and her husband met on the set of the short-lived medical drama, “City of Angels.” He was a single father from Texas who decided to try acting later than usual and the rest is history.

Accolades: Tony Award Winner for her work in the play “King Hedley II”; Oscar, SAG and Golden Globe Nominee for her work in the film “Doubt”; Winner Africa American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Quotable: Viola is a 15 year veteran in the acting world. She had this to say about casting directors who still think in narrow racial stereotypes,

“When I graduated from Julliard, I remember thinking that there was no difference between me and any other student in the school; I wanted to do what they were doing. I want to do what Meryl Streep is doing….[W]hen you see black movies, they’re always urban and funny, with pretty much the same actors, which is not a bad thing. The travesty is when you’re not that: I don’t speak ebonics. I’m too old to be a homegirl. I’m not funny like that—sitcom, WB-UPN funny. So if I’m not that, then sometimes to the acting community you can be considered nothing, as opposed to being a wide range of things.

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