Viola DavisOne of the most respected and iconic actresses in the world, turns 58 today. With a successful filmography, the actress is one of the few artists to have EGOT status – that is, to have won the four main American entertainment awards: Emmy, Television, Grammy, Music, Oscar, Cinema and Theater Tony.
Born in South Carolina in the southeastern United States and moving to Rhode Island when she was only two months old, Davis is the daughter of a maid and a horse trainer. In addition to being a maid, her mother was an activist for black civil rights, and was arrested when Davis, who was taken with her, was two years old. Growing up in poverty since her childhood, the actress became interested in the performing arts in high school, where she participated in several federal programs for students. Davis graduated from Rhode Island State College in 1988 majoring in theater, shortly thereafter going to Juilliard, one of the most prestigious performing arts colleges in the world, from which he graduated in 1993.
The actress made her stage debut in 1992 in the off-Broadway play “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare. Broadway debut in 1996 with the play “Seven Guitars” august wilson, which won him critical acclaim. That same year, Davis joined the Television and Film Actors Guild, taking small parts in films and series, most notably in three of Steven Soderbergh’s films.
In 2001, Davis won her first Tony Award for playing a 35-year-old woman fighting for her right to an abortion in August Wilson’s King Hedley II. In the early 2000s, he appeared in several films and had a recurring role on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. However, her first major role on the big screen was in “Doubt”, an adaptation of a play on Broadway in which Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, Despite only having one scene of about ten minutes, Davis was one of the biggest attractions of the film, and even won nominations for several awards – among them the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Viola Davis, career highlight role in “Doubt”. (Photo: Reproduction/Miramax)
In 2010, Davis won her second Tony Award for “Fences”, a play she co-presented with Denzel Washington. In 2011, the actress had one of the biggest roles: a maid from the 1960s in the drama “The Help”. Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard, which earned her a second Oscar nomination, this time for lead actress. In 2012, he was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
Acclaimed role of Viola Davis in “How to Get Away with Murder”. (Photo: Playback/ABC)
Another major role for Davis was that of a lawyer. annalize keating On “How to Get Away with Murder”, which ran from 2014 to 2020 and earned her two nominations and one win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmy Awards – the first African-American person to win anything at the awards. He performed in 2016 Amanda Waller In the film “Esquadro Suicide”, a role he has reprized in DC Comics productions to this day. Also in 2016, Viola returned as Rose in “Fences”, this time in a film adaptation, alongside Denzel Washington. After becoming the first black actress to be nominated three times for an Oscar, the production presented her with her first and only statuette to date.
Her fourth Oscar nomination came with the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, an adaptation of the 1982 stage play in which she played the lead character. Ma Rainey, considered the mother of the blues and one of the greatest singers of all time. In one of the most controversial years for the award, it ultimately lost Frances McDormand In “Nomadland”, But, with the nomination, became the most nominated black actress in the history of the awards, in addition to becoming the first black woman to be nominated more than once in the lead actress category. The film was also the last screen performance of Chadwick Boseman, who died three months before filming began.
Viola Davis as Ma Rainey in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. (Photo: Playback/Netflix)
In 2022, Davis played the lead role in “The Woman King”, which was nominated for several awards, but lost her fifth Oscar nomination. In the same year, he released an autobiography titled “Finding Me”, which was also accompanied by an audiobook. For the audiobook, she was nominated for the 2023 Grammy Awards, won and achieved EGOT status – the eighteenth person to achieve this feat.
The actress’ next role is Dr. Volumnia Gall in “The Hunger Games: The Song of Birds and Serpents”, which will be released in November this year. Additionally, she will return as Amanda Waller in the DC Comics series for HBO Max, which also includes her own solo series.
Featured Image: Viola Davis with her Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress. Playback/J. lipskyamps/efe