Inside Viola Davis’s Unbreakable Relationship With Husband Julius Tennon

Viola Davis is making headlines as her hit series How to Get Away with Murder sets to air its sixth and final season. While the star has been getting attention for her acting accomplishments, she also celebrated a private milestone: her 15th wedding anniversary with husband Julius Tennon. 

How did this pair of lovebirds meet, and what does their family look like? Read on to find out. 

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon
Viola Davis and Julius Tennon | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Davis has built a lifelong acting career

Before becoming a Hollywood star, Davis built an intentional and focused career in theater. She started acting while she was still in high school and got an undergraduate degree in theater in 1988 before going on to study at the famous Juilliard School of Performing Arts.

She soon built a name for herself through stage acting in New York. She debuted on Broadway in the play Seven Guitars in 1996. 

Her television career started with a medical drama series called City of Angeles and several guest appearances on shows like Law & Order. It was her part in the 2002 film Antwone Fisher that started to grab critic’s attention. Since then, she has had crucial roles in several blockbuster hits including The HelpDoubt, and Fences. She is the only African American performer to have won a Tony, Oscar, and Emmy, making her versatility and talent as an artist clear. 

Davis prayed for the love of her life

Despite working hard toward a very successful career, Davis was not satisfied with her love life. In fact, she called herself “the loneliest woman in the world.” When a friend suggested that she pray to find her match, she did, asking for “a big black man from the South who looked like a football player, who already had children, who maybe had been married before.”

Less than a month later, she met Julius Tennon. He was an actor and former football player, and he overheard Davis complaining about not knowing many people in Los Angeles, so he introduced himself. Davis shied away from him at first because she was embarrassed about her bad credit (not knowing that she would someday become a famous star worth millions).

The two eventually did go on a first date. Afterward, Tennon couldn’t even wait until he got all the way home to call her. He told her, “I just wanted to tell you again what a great time I had and what a beautiful woman you are.” 

The pair wed and started a family

The couple got married in 2003, and in 2011, they adopted their daughter Genesis. Together, the pair seem to be focusing on good, solid foundations in their parenting and in their marriage. Davis is very open about coming from a financially strained background, and she has had to work hard to earn everything she has. 

Genesis shows some signs of wanting to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She already has acting credits to her name, including a role in the film Get On Up alongside her mother and father. One Halloween, she decided to dress as her mother winning an Emmy. 

Genesis explained that her mother has given her some very solid advice about her future: “She said, ‘No matter what people say, to keep moving forward,’ and I’m gonna take that advice.”

It is advice that Davis seems to have followed for herself, and it’s that foundation that has led to success in both her career and her love life.

It seems as those Davis’ prayers all those years ago were answered, and she was sent a great man who has been a critical part of her life for more than fifteen years. With so much acclaim and success at her back and a wonderful husband at her side, there’s no telling where the star will go next.