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Bio For: Viola Davis
(The Latest Available Bio)

VIOLA DAVIS (Susie Brown) is a critically revered award-winning actress of film, television and theater known for her intriguingly diverse roles.

In one of the highest profile pilots this season, Davis is set as the lead of the television drama How to Get Away With Murder, from ABC Studios and Shondaland. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant, mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.

In 2012, Davis received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of the heartbroken but stoic Aibileen Clark in The Help, which also starred Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer. Tate Taylor directed the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel, that was set in Jackson, Mississippi, during the turbulent 1960s. The Help was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Davis won the Screen Actors Guild and Critics' Choice Movie awards for Best Actress for her portrayal of Aibileen, and was also nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA awards. The film won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble.

In 2008, Davis starred in the critically revered film Doubt, based on John Patrick Shanley's Tony Awardwinning play, in which she portrayed Mrs. Miller, the mother of a young boy who piques the fascination of a Catholic priest. Davis shared the screen with Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The National Board of Review recognized Davis with the Breakthrough Performance by an Actress Award, and she was also honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with the Virtuoso Award.

As her credits attest, Davis is in constant demand for a wide variety of roles. Next year, she'll be seen alongside Chris Hemsworth and Holt McCallany in Legendary Entertainment and Universal Pictures' Untitled Michael Mann Project, a contemporary thriller set in the world of computer hacking. The film is set for release on January 16, 2015.

Earlier this year, Davis filmed the upcoming Lila & Eve, in which she stars opposite Jennifer Lopez in the story of two mothers whose children are killed in a driveby shooting. Davis also took the reins as a producer on this film, along with her husband, Julius Tennon, for their company, JuVee Productions.

Formed in 2012, Davis and Tennon founded the multiethnic production company committed to excellence in film, television and theater. As their first film project, they optioned the rights to Ann Weisgarber's 2008 novel "The Personal History of Rachel DuPree," which tells the story of DuPree, a fictional early-20th century Chicagoan who leaves home to become a rancher's wife in South Dakota's Badlands. In the story, neighboring white settlers rely on each other during 1917's crippling summer drought, but the pregnant DuPree is isolated by both race and geography. The tale focuses on her struggle to survive and provide for her family, and also examines the harsh racial struggles facing the rarely explored lives of black pioneers.

In 2013, film audiences saw Davis in four vastly different projects. In the film adaptation of the popular science-fiction novel "Ender's Game," Davis portrayed military psychologist Major Gwen Anderson, opposite Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford. Summit Entertainment released the film on November 1, 2013. In the nightmarish Prisoners, a dark thriller about two families shattered by the kidnapping of their daughters on Thanksgiving Day, Davis starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano. Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures released Prisoners on September 20, 2013. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, a favorite at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, showed a contemporary take on a modern marriage and featured Davis in a pivotal role opposite Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. The film encompassed three points of view-Him, Her and Them- expressed by the husband and the wife. Myriad Pictures and Unison Films produced the film, and The Weinstein Company acquired the film rights at the festival. In Beautiful Creatures, released on Valentine's Day, Davis joined Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons in telling the tale of two teens confronting a multigenerational curse. Warner Bros. Pictures and Alcon Entertainment produced the film.

In September 2012, Davis starred alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter in Won't Back Down, a film that focused on two women who struggle to make a difference at a local school.

In 2011, Davis co-starred with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures' Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a post-9/11 story directed by Stephen Daldry and nominated for Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards.

Theater audiences saw Davis star alongside Denzel Washington in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences in 2010. Her portrayal of Rose Maxson brought her a Tony Award, as well as New York Drama Critics' Circle, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards. Fences was also honored with the Tony Award for Best Play Revival and was the most profitable theater production of the year.

Davis appeared in the 20th Century Fox action comedy Knight and Day, opposite Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, for director James Mangold. It was released on June 25, 2010. Following Knight and Day, Davis was seen opposite Julia Roberts in Sony Pictures' film Eat Pray Love, in which she played Roberts' character's best friend. Also in 2010, Davis starred in Focus Features' drama It's Kind of a Funny Story, alongside Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham and Zach Galifianakis. That same year, Davis had a six-episode arc in the Showtime hit series United States of Tara, written by Academy Award winner Diablo Cody. Davis portrayed Lynda P. Frazier, a wildly eccentric artist and friend to Tara (Toni Collette).

Her film credits also include George C. Wolfe's 2008 drama Nights in Rodanthe, which starred Diane Lane, Richard Gere and James Franco. The film was released by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Davis was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female in 2003 for her performance in Antwone Fisher. Her additional film credits include Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, State of Play, Law Abiding Citizen, Disturbia, The Architect, Get Rich or Die Tryin' and Far From Heaven. She worked with director Steven Soderbergh on Solaris, Traffic and Out of Sight, as well as Syriana, which Soderbergh executive produced for director Stephen Gaghan.

Davis' television credits include a co-starring role in the A&E miniseries The Andromeda Strain; a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; a recurring role in CBS' made-for-television film series Jesse Stone, opposite Tom Selleck; a starring role as Diane Barrino in The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life Is Not a Fairytale for Lifetime; a starring role on ABC's Traveler; and roles on CBS' Century City and the Steven Bochco series City of Angels. In addition, she had roles in Oprah Winfrey's Amy and Isabelle and Hallmark Hall of Fame's Grace and Glorie.

In 2004, Davis starred in the Roundabout Theatre Company's stage production of Lynn Nottage's play Intimate Apparel, directed by Daniel Sullivan. She garnered the highest honors for an off-Broadway play, including Best Actress awards from the Drama Desk, Drama League, Obie and AUDELCO, in addition to a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. She reprised her role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, where she was recognized with the LA Stage Alliance Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and Backstage West Garland awards.

In 2001, Davis won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Tonya in King Hedley II. She commanded the attention of critics and audiences alike for her portrayal of a 35-year-old woman who is forced to fight for the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy. Davis also received a Drama Desk Award in recognition of her performance.

She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Movies For: Viola Davis
Only includes movies we've covered on CinemaReview.com
in which this person played a significant role in the movie.

14 Movies: Pg 1 of 1 Show:
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ENDER'S GAME (PG-13) On Video: 2/11/2014 At Theaters: 11/1/2013
PRISONERS (R) On Video: 12/17/2013 At Theaters: 9/20/2013
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (PG-13) On Video: 5/21/2013 At Theaters: 2/14/2013
WON'T BACK DOWN (PG) On Video: 1/15/2013 At Theaters: 9/28/2012
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (PG-13) On Video: 3/27/2012 At Theaters: 12/25/2011
THE HELP (PG-13) On Video: 12/6/2011 At Theaters: 8/10/2011
IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY (PG-13) On Video: 2/8/2011 At Theaters: 10/8/2010
KNIGHT AND DAY (PG-13) On Video: 11/30/2010 At Theaters: 6/23/2010
EAT, PRAY, LOVE (PG-13) On Video: 11/23/2010 At Theaters: 8/13/2010
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (R) On Video: 2/16/2010 At Theaters: 10/16/2009
DOUBT (PG-13) On Video: 4/7/2009 At Theaters: 12/12/2008
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE (PG-13) On Video: 2/10/2009 At Theaters: 9/26/2008
SOLARIS (PG-13) On Video: 7/29/2003 At Theaters: 11/27/2002
GET ON UP (PG-13) At Theaters: 8/1/2014
14 Movies: Pg 1 of 1 Show:
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