NEW: Viola Davis Named One of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People

Friday, April 20, 2012


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Rhode Island's own Viola Davis has added another feather in her cap, being named to TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World list, released this week.

Cicely Tyson, a heralded African-American actor, writes in TIME's mini-profile of Davis: I remember sitting in a Broadway theater absolutely mesmerized by Viola Davis' performance as Tonya in August Wilson's play King Hedley II, for which she won her first Tony and Drama Desk awards. I have been consuming a diet of her extraordinary work ever since."

Viola Davis' extraordinary year

Davis has had an extraordinary year, having been nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a maid in a Southern household in the popular film, The Help. She will return to Rhode Island twice this spring, to deliver the commencement address Providence College, and to be honored at Trinity Repertory Theater's Pell Awards.

"As I watch Viola's career soar," writes Tyson in TIME, "I marvel at her strength, stamina and amazing spirit, which I believe comes from her faith in the Almighty. She has taken an opportunity not just to set a standard but to redefine it."

Her recent Oscar nomination, writes Tyson, "is a beacon for other aspiring actresses. I was privileged to work on this film and humbled that Viola believes my career has been a benchmark for hers. This acknowledgment speaks to the richness of her soul and how she has carried out her life as a mother, wife and actress. She affords me great hope for the future."

For the entire TIME List of 100 Most Influential People in the World, go here.


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