What Viola Davis Teaches Her Daughter About Beauty

Viola Davis is one of the most decorated actresses of her generation. The talented performer has won a multitude of awards and has appeared in a wide variety of films, from big-budget epics to independent productions. Davis has been acting for decades and finally got her big breakthrough in 2008, after a jaw-dropping performance in the film Doubt. In addition to her acting projects, Davis has a busy home life – and recently, she opened up about her perspective on beauty and the sage advice that she gives her young daughter. 

Viola Davis smiling sitting on a bench
Viola Davis | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for L’Oréal Paris

What is Viola Davis best known for?

Viola Davis was born in South Carolina in 1965. Although she was raised in a large, loving family, Davis experienced abject poverty when she was a child and has admitted that it took years to fully get over the effect that her troubling childhood had on her. Davis was motivated and passionate as a young woman and worked hard to pursue the career path that meant so much to her. After studying drama and the arts in high school, Davis went on to attend the Juilliard School.

In the early nineties, Viola Davis’s acting career began in earnest. She appeared in many different films during this time, including Traffic, Solaris, Syriana, Antwone Fisher, and Out of Sight. For her work in the 2008 movie Doubt, Davis was nominated for an Academy Award. During the course of her career, Davis has received two Tony Awards, an Emmy Award, and an Academy Award. Many fans know her best for her long-running role on the popular series How to Get Away with Murder. Davis is also a renowned activist and works hard on behalf of many charitable causes around the world. 

How many kids does Viola Davis have?

Unlike most major stars, Viola Davis has steered clear of excessive drama in her personal life. She has been happily married to fellow actor Julius Tennon since 2003. Tennon works primarily on stage productions, although he has appeared on television as well, and has been in the entertainment industry for decades. Tennon and Davis even run a production company together, JuVee Productions.

Tennon had two sons from a previous marriage when he and Davis tied the knot in 2003. However, the couple wanted to expand their family and in 2011, they adopted a daughter named Genesis. Genesis might not even be a teenager yet, but she has already started to follow her parents’ example – she has shown a talent for acting and recently voiced the character Vivi in Angry Birds Movie 2

What beauty advice does Viola Davis give her daughter?

Viola Davis is known for her natural, authentic beauty. She never shies away from a bold look on the red carpet but seems equally comfortable in sweats and cozy tees. As she revealed in a recent interview, she wasn’t always so confident, especially not when she was a teenager, but over time, she has grown to embrace all the unique parts of her look and personality. Davis tries to pass on that same confidence and sense of self-worth to her daughter, as well. 

Davis said that she teaches her daughter that “your heart and your brain are the most important parts of you. And she says it too.” Still, Davis admitted that her preteen daughter isn’t very focused on looks yet. “She’s nine and, you know, eats pizza and sugar.” There’s no doubt that with a mother as accomplished and grounded as Viola Davis, young Genesis Tennon will grow up to know and understand her true worth.