Viola Davis was a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for playing the conflicted mother of a Catholic school elementary student in Doubt. She was a Best Actress nominee for playing a 1960s Southern maid in The Help. Like Whoopi Goldberg and like three stars of TV's Empire -- Taraji P. Henson, Gabourey Sidibe and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson -- Viola Davis turned to television because Hollywood had no good scripts for her. She took a TV role not written specifically for a black woman. The role was Annalise on ABC's HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Annalise is a brilliant professor of law. She's also a married woman with a complicated, messy personal life that makes for juicy TV. Annalise has a life that involves a murder.
Not that it needs to me remade. Who could top the original starring Bette Davis? But...could you imagine a new All About Eve with Viola Davis as Broadway legend Margo Channing and Oscar winer Lupita Nyong'o as Eve Harrington? And if Meryl Streep had not been available to do The Devil Wears Prada, Viola Davis would've been fabulous with a capital F as fear-inducing fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly.
From Hattie McDaniel, Ethel Waters and Dorothy Dandridge to Ruby Dee, Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, Alfre Woodard, Diahann Carroll, Diana Ross, Mo'Nique, Best Actress Oscar winner Halle Berry and Viola's Best Supporting Oscar-winning co-star from The Help, Octavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong'o...those are some of the black actresses who received only one Oscar nomination in their film careers. As I've also previously mentioned. the talented Jennifer Lawrence has 3 Oscar nominations, she's taken home one Oscar for Best Actress and she's only 25. Lawrence has many opportunities.
I do believe that, in time, Broadway Tony winner and TV Emmy winner Viola Davis will make Hollywood history again as the first black woman to have three Oscar nominations to her credit. A new season of How To Get Away With Murder starts Thursday night, Sept. 24th, on ABC.