Viola Davis: A Career Retrospective

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Viola Davis is this season's everything, and for good reason. (Because she's A-MAZING.)

Let's take a look at the career of the How To Get Away With Murder superstar who is burning up our Thursday nights.

1. Viola Davis

Viola Davis
Viola Davis brightened up the 2015 SAG Awards when she talked about her daughter during her acceptance speech for Outstanding Performance for a Female Actor in a Drama for How To Get Away With Murder.

2. City of Angels

City of Angels
City of Angels aired for one season way back in 2000. Davis played Nurse Lynette Peeler.

3. Century City

Century City
In Century City, Viola Davis played the lead character, Hannah Crane. The 2004 sci-fi series was short lived, however, lasting only 9 episodes.

4. Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Get Rich or Die Tryin'
A movie based loosely on the life of rapper 50 Cent, Viola Davis played Grandma, the woman tasked with raising Marcus after his mother, a local drug dealer is brutally murdered.

5. Jesse Stone

Jesse Stone
Between 2005 and 2007, Viola Davis starred as Molly Crane in a series of four made-for-TV Jesse Stone movies.

6. Life Is Not A Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story

Life Is Not A Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story
In the 2006 biopic story of American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino's life, Viola Davis played Barrino's mother, Diane.

7. Disturbia

Viola Davis is no stranger to roles where she's in law enforcement. In 2007, she played Detective Parker in Disturbia.

8. Traveler

Once again donning a badge, Davis played Agent Jan Marlow in the shortlived series 2007 series Traveler.

9. The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain
The Andromeda Strain featured Viola Davis as Dr. Charlene Barton in the 2007 TV miniseries based on the 1969 novel of the same name written by Michael Crichton.

10. Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order: SVU
At least half of Hollywood has appeared at least once on at least one series in the Law & Order franchise. Viola Davis played Donna Emmett on Law & Order: SVU in 7 episodes between 2003 and 2008. She appeared once on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

11. Doubt

In only eleven minutes on screen in the 2009 film Doubt, Viola Davis earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Mrs. Miller.

12. Madea Goes to Jail

Madea Goes to Jail
In 2009, Davis took a turn in a Tyler Perry production as Ellen in the film Madea Goes to Jail.

13. United States of Tara

United States of Tara
Viola Davis was Lynda P. Frazier for 6 episodes on United States of Tara Season 2. Tara befriended Lynda after trying to collect a debt and eventually got back into art.

14. Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love
When Liz Gilbert's memoir Eat Pray Love was made into a film in 2010, Julia Roberts took the lead. Viola Davis played Gilbert's best friend Delia in the film.

15. It's Kind Of A Funny Story

It's Kind Of A Funny Story
In the 2010 story of 16 year old who is hospitalized after trying to commit suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, Viola Davis plays Dr. Minerva, the psychiatrist who gets to decide if he's ready to leave the institution.

16. The Help

The Help
While Viola Davis had a storied career prior to 2011's The Help, playing Abileen Clark helped turn her into a household name. She was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the role and won a SAG award.

17. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In the Tom Hanks-Sandra Bullock helmed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Davis played Abby Black, a woman who holds the key to a message the young boy Oskar finds in his father's closet.

18. Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures
In the supernatural romance Beautiful Creatures, Davis played Amma, a family friend who tried to keep two young lovers apart.

19. Sofia the First

Sofia the First
Parents of preschoolers might recognize the voice of Buttercups' troop leader Helen Henshaw as that of Viola Davis. Davis has a four year old daughter, Genesis.

20. Prisoners

In the 2013 film Prisoners, Davis was cast as Nancy Birch, the mother of a character who goes missing in the movie's opening credits.

21. Ender's Game

Ender's Game
In the movie version of Orson Scott Card's bestselling novel Ender's Game, Davis took on the role of Major Gwen Anderson, a leader whose attention Ender draws in a simulated aptitude test.

22. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was a 2013 indie film trilogy starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. Viola Davis played Professor Lillian Friedman.

23. How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder
As How To Get Away With Murder's Annalise Keating, Viola Davis has taken Thursday night's by storm, earning a SAG Award for her performance.

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How to Get Away with Murder Quotes

I just wanted to do something.


Bonnie: Asher's here.
Frank: So?
Bonnie: I think it's him. He turned.
Frank: Don't let him leave.