VIOLA DAVIS (Nancy Birch) is a critically acclaimed, award-winning actress who
garnered her first Academy Award
nomination, as well as Golden Globe, BAFTA and Screen
Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in
John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt," based on his play and starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. She was also recognized by The National Board of Review with
their Breakthrough Award, and was honored by the Santa Barbara Film Festival as a Virtuoso.
She recently received her second Oscar
nomination, along with a Golden Globe Award
nomination, this time in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her portrayal of
Aibileen, in Tate Taylor's Oscar-nominated film "The Help," based on Kathryn Stockett's best-
selling novel. Davis also received the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading
Role and was honored with numerous Critics Association nominations as well as an Image
Award for Outstanding Actress.
Davis will next be seen in the sci-fi action adventure "Ender's Game," with Harrison
Ford, releasing in late fall; as well as the two-part drama "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,"
told from the point of view of two different characters, alongside Jessica Chastain, James
McAvoy and William Hurt.
Her other feature film credits include "Won't Back Down," starring Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Holly Hunter and Rosie Perez; "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," with Tom Hanks and
Sandra Bullock; "It's Kind of a Funny Story," with Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham and Zach
Galifianakis; "Eat Pray Love," starring Julia Roberts; "Knight and Day," with Tom Cruise and
Cameron Diaz; "Law Abiding Citizen," with Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler; George C. Wolfe's
"Nights in Rodanthe," based on the Nicholas Sparks novel and starring Diane Lane and Richard
Gere; "Madea Goes to Jail"; "State of Play"; "Disturbia"; the independent film "The Architect";
Jim Sheridan's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," opposite 50 Cent; Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana,"
starring George Clooney and produced by Steven Soderbergh; the Denzel Washington-directed
"Antwone Fisher," for which Davis received an Independent Spirit Award nomination; "Far
from Heaven," with Dennis Quaid and Julianne Moore; and the Soderbergh-directed films
"Solaris," "Traffic" and "Out of Sight."
On the small screen, Davis was most recently seen in a six-episode arc in Showtime's hit
series "United States of Tara." Prior to that, she appeared opposite Benjamin Bratt, Eric
McCormack and Rick Schroeder in the miniseries "The Andromeda Strain." Her extensive
television credits also include a recurring role on "Law & Order: SVU"; a recurring role in the
CBS franchise "Jesse Stone," opposite Tom Selleck; a starring role as Diane Barrino in
Lifetime's "Life is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story"; a starring role in ABC's
"Traveler," as Agent Jan Marlow; CBS' "Century City"; "Lefty"; the Steven Bochco series "City of Angels"; Oprah Winfrey's "Amy and Isabelle"; and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Grace and
Davis is also a veteran of the stage. In 2010, she returned to Broadway in the highly
anticipated revival of August Wilson's "Fences," alongside Denzel Washington. Her
performance in the 1987 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play earned her a Tony
Award, as well as the Drama Critics' Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk
Award. "Fences" was also honored with the Tony Award for Best Play Revival and was the
most profitable theatre production of the year. In 2004, Davis lit up the stage in the Roundabout
Theatre Company's production of Lynn Nottage's play "Intimate Apparel," directed by Tony
Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan. Her performance earned her the highest honors for an
off-Broadway play, including Best Actress Awards from Drama Desk and the Drama League, as
well as an Obie and the Audelco Award and a nomination for the Lucille Lortel Award. She
reprised her role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, where she was recognized with the
Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics and the Garland Awards. In 2001, Davis was awarded a
Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Tonya in "King
Hedley II." She also received a Drama Desk Award in recognition of her work.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Davis also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts
Degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College's Brown University.
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