Viola Davis



Viola Davis during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Adhiti Chundur, Beats Editor

Viola Davis grew up in Rhode Island. At a young age, she enjoyed watching movies, and in high school discovered her love of acting. After graduating from Rhode Island College, Davis went on to study at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York City.

 She started off acting in theater, and  later transitioned to films.

  She played  the role of a maid in the film “The Help.” Davis was praised for her exemplary work in reflecting the tensions and social norms of the time period through her character.

  Davis currently stars in the television series “How to Get Away with Murder” as Professor Annalise Keating.  In 2015,  Davis became the first African- American actress to win an Emmy for outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

  In her historic acceptance speech, she quoted Harriet Tubman to make important points on the opportunities of women of color in the film industry.


“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

  • Viola Davis