5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Amazing Viola Davis

Photo: Twitter
viola davis

She's such an extraordinary woman!

You may recognize the name Viola Davis if you’re a fan of the hit TV show ABC's How To Get Away With Murder.

Or if you just happened to watch the 89th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, you may have seen Viola Davis give an emotional speech as she accepted her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the acclaimed film, Fences.

If you missed it, here’s the must see clip:

I'm not crying. YOU'RE crying!

Born August 11, 1965, Viola Davis grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where she graduated from Central Falls High School. Because this woman is just filled with awesomesauce, she still supports the school by raising and donating money to them, as well as to the city's library. 

She even attended a groundbreaking for a health facility in Central Falls, because she's Viola from the block, so don't be fooled by the rocks that she got (sorry, I had to include a Jenny from the Block reference)!

Viola Davis is an amazingly talented woman. Here are some facts you may not have known about the actress:

1. She is the only black actress to win the Triple Crown of Acting.


According to Wikipedia, Triple Crown of Acting is a term used in the American entertainment industry to describe actors who have won a competitive Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award in the acting categories. 

She is the FIRST African-American woman to win the Triple Crown! GO VIOLA!

Viola Davis won the following awards:

  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play: King Hedley II (2001)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play: Fences (2010)
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: How To Get Away With Murder (2015)
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress: Fences (2017)

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2. Wait, she won for Fences TWICE?

Uh huh! The 2016 film that was directed by another shining star, Denzel Washington, was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play written by August Wilson.

Here is the trailer for the movie and just from the small clip, you can see why Viola Davis won that Oscar:

3. Viola Davis' childhood was anything but glamorous.


In an interview with PEOPLE, Viola Davis recounts her past, “I would jump in trash bins with maggots looking for food, and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry ... I never had any kids come to my house because my house was a condemned building, it was boarded up, it was infested with rats. I was one of those kids who were poor and knew it.” 

Now she says, "I cannot believe my life ... I just can’t. I’m so blessed.” 

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4. In 2012, Viola Davis made Time's List of Most Influential People.


Fellow actress Cicely Tyson wrote a "roast" about Viola Davis for the magazine, "As I watch Viola's career soar, I marvel at her strength, stamina and amazing spirit, which I believe comes from her faith in the Almighty. She has taken an opportunity not just to set a standard but to redefine it."

5. Viola Davis is a MOM!


In 2003, Viola Davis married actor Julius Tennon and became stepmom to his two children from a prior relationship. 

In October of 2011, Davis and Tennon adopted a newborn baby girl, Genesis.

After thanking them in her Oscar speech, she also tweeted this picture, which just GLOWS with the love shared by their family.