Viola Davis was born on August 11, 1965 in St. Matthews, South Carolina, USA to parents Mae Alice Davis, a maid, and Dan Davis, a horse trainer. She majored in theater at Rhode Island College and graduated in 1988. She also attended the Juilliard School for four years but regrets the experience.
Viola Davis started in theater and was awarded the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Tonya in the play, King Hedley II. Viola Davis has several minor parts in film and television before starring in the 2011 film, The Help, for which she is most famous on a mainstream scale.