Viola Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress and producer. She won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Tonya in the original production of King Hedley II, and the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role as Rose Maxon in the revival of Fences. In 2014, she began starring as Annalise Keating on the ABC drama How to Get Away with Murder, and in 2015 she became the first African American woman, as well as the first black woman of any nationality, to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The role also won her a SAG Award in 2015 and 2016. In 2012, she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, Davis began her career on stage and won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby. In 2008, performance as Mrs. Miller in the film Doubt earned her several nominations, including the Golden Globe, SAG Award, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. For her lead role as Aibileen Clark in the film The Help (2011), she received nominations for the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won a SAG Award. Her other films include Far from Heaven (2002), Antwone Fisher (2003), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2013), Get on Up (2014) and the upcoming Suicide Squad (2016).
Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, founded a production company called JuVee Productions which have produced movies such as Lila & Eve (2015), in which Viola plays the leading role. JuVee Productions has also produced the upcoming movie Custody. The production company also produces some short films.