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Viola Davis

2017 and 2022 Speaker

VIOLA DAVIS is the first black actress to win Tony, Oscar, and Emmy awards. Davis starred in the ABC series How to Get Away with Murder. Davis received two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in addition to becoming the first African American actress to receive the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Davis was recently seen in Amazon Studio’s family comedy, Troop Zero and will next be seen in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom based on the play of the same name. As her credits attest, Davis is in constant demand for a wide variety of roles including those in Widows, Fences, Suicide Squad, and Lila & Eve. Davis starred in Lila & Eve and produced this film, along with her husband, Julius Tennon, for their company, JuVee Productions. In 2012, Davis and her husband founded JuVee, with its focus being to give a voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful, and culturally relevant narratives. The Los Angeles-based and artist driven company produces film, television, and digital content across all forms of entertainment. Davis received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of ‘Aibileen Clark’ in The Help. Davis won the Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice Best Actress Awards for her portrayal and was also nominated for a Golden Globe and British Academy Film Award. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Davis received an Honorary Doctorate during its 109th Commencement Ceremony and she also holds an Honorary DFA degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.