9. Viola Davis
Since graduating from the Julliard school in 1993, Viola Davis has become a dynamo in the industry as one of its elite actresses in Hollywood. She was the 2017 Academy Award and Golden Globe winner for actress in a supporting role in Fences, is known for her films and television roles, but she has been in theatre since 1992 and on Broadway three times.
Davis is most recently known for her roles in the August Wilson’s play turned film, Fences and Shonda Rhimes’ ABC American drama series, How To Get Away With Murder, which was renewed for a fourth season this past fall.
In 2017 Davis became the first black actor to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting by winning a competitive Oscar, Emmy and Tony award. She’s also the only African-American actress to win the Screen Actors Guild Award five times. Her accomplishments and her genius as a thespian of art make her an African-American actress you should know about.