Who is Viola Davis? 10 things You Don’t Know About Viola

10 things to know about Viola Davis

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother’s farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer.

Here are 10 things every Viola Davis Fan should know.

  1. She is the first black African American actress to win an Emmy Award.

    Her father was a horse trainer and her mother was a maid, factory worker, and home maker.


    She is a three-time Tony Award nominee and has won twice.


    Davis has described herself as having “lived in abject poverty and dysfunction” during her childhood.


    Davis married actor Julius Tennon in June 2003. They have a daughter, Genesis, whom they adopted as a newborn in October 2011.


    Viola Davis made her screen debut with a small role as a nurse in 1996’s The Substance of Fire (1996).


    She won critical acclaim for her starring role as Aibileen Clark in the box-office hit The Help (2011).


    Viola Davis received her Screen Actors Guild card in 1996 for doing one day of work as a nurse who passes a vial of blood to Timothy Hutton in the film The Substance of Fire. She was paid $528.


    Davis appeared in numerous films, including three films directed by Steven Soderbergh – Out of Sight, Solaris and Traffic, as well as Syriana.

  10. She studied theater at Rhode Island College, and also attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.