2023 NAACP Image Awards: 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Incomparable Viola Davis

The veteran actress is up for several awards, including "Entertainer of the Year."

Viola Davis is one of the most talented actresses in the business and is best known for her versatility in the projects she takes on. Yet, from her humble beginning in South Carolina to historic accolades, there is much fans still don’t know about the Academy Award-winning actress. So in honor of her nominations at this year’s NAACP Image Awards, which include “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture,” “Entertainer of the Year,” and more, here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Hollywood veteran. And don’t forget to tune into the biggest celebration of Black excellence slated to air live on Saturday, February 25th, 2023, at 8:00 PM ET on BET.

  • She holds the most Academy Awards nominations for a Black Actress

    Davis made history in 2021 as the most Oscar-nominated black woman with four total and one win she earned for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in the 2017 film  Fences. However, Davis’ historic wins don’t stop there. During the SAG Awards that same year, the actress received her fifth award, becoming the first Black actress ever to do so.

  • Her birth place is unique

    Davis was born on August 11, 1965, in St. Matthews, South Carolina. However, on the day of her arrival, her mother, Mary Alice, never made it to the hospital. She was ultimately born on a farm owned by her grandmother. Shortly after, Davis and her siblings moved to Rhode Island.

  • She studied at Juilliard

    After graduating from Rhode Island College in 1988 with a degree in theater, Davis spent four years studying at the prestigious Juilliard School. She was a member of “Group 22,” a sector of the school’s Drama Division.

  • She earned her first Oscar nomination with less than 20 minutes of screen time

    Davis was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in the 2008 film Doubt despite only being on camera for 8 minutes. The film featured an ensemble cast, including  Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  • She’s Mike Colter’s cousin

    Although they never met before 2019, Davis is second cousins with Marvel’s Luke Cage star, Mike Colter.

    Watch the NAACP Image Awards live on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 8:00 pm ET/PT on BET.

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