Viola Davis is an acclaimed American actress known for roles in films like “The Help” and “Fences,” along with the hit ABC television series “How to Get Away with Murder.” As one of the most talented and decorated actresses of her generation, Viola Davis has amassed significant wealth from her over 30 year career in Hollywood. But exactly how much is Viola Davis worth today?
Viola Davis’s Career Earnings Overview
Here is a brief overview of Viola Davis’s earnings over her acting career:
|Early Career (1996-2010)
|Films like “Solaris,” “Antwone Fisher,” Broadway plays
|“The Help,” “Won’t Back Down,” “Ender’s Game”
|“How to Get Away with Murder” (TV series)
|$250,000 per episode
|Films like “Fences,” “Widows,” commercials
|Total Career Earnings
As this table shows, the majority of Viola Davis’s $25+ million in career earnings have come within the last decade, thanks in large part to lucrative roles in both film and television. Now let’s take a deeper look into the details surrounding her current net worth.
What Is Viola Davis’s Net Worth?
According to multiple reputable sources, Viola Davis’s current net worth is estimated to be roughly $30 million.
The majority of her net worth has been accumulated fairly recently. For example, the Forbes list of highest-paid actresses in 2019 had Davis at #9 with $15.5 million earned that year, from projects like the film “Widows.” And that number does not even include income from endorsements or commercials.
In 2022 and 2023, Davis has added even more to her growing fortune. Her salary for the film “The Woman King” likely landed her another $3-5 million paycheck. Combined with endorsements for companies like L’Oreal, income from older films, and potential behind-the-scenes executive producer fees, her current net worth is quite strong.
In the next section, we’ll break down the key sources contributing to Viola Davis’s $30 million net worth as of today.
Key Sources of Viola Davis’s Net Worth
Here are the most significant sources fueling Viola Davis’s current $30 million net worth:
Her highest film paydays to date likely include:
- $5 million for “How to Get Away with Murder” (2022)
- ~$5 million salary for starring in “The Woman King” (2022)
- $2 million for her role in “Fences” (2016)
The TV show “How to Get Away With Murder” has been Viola Davis’s biggest television payday so far. Highlights include:
- ~$250,000 per episode by final season
- ~$20 million over the show’s 6 seasons
Davis also earns a steady income from occasional endorsement deals and sponsorships, working with brands like:
- L’Oreal (appeared in ad campaigns)
- EcoTools (sponsored social media posts)
Her rates for sponsored social media posts likely reach over $50,000+ per individual post.
What Was Viola Davis’s Salary Per Episode in How to Get Away With Murder?
At the peak of the show’s popularity, Viola Davis’s salary per episode in How to Get Away With Murder reached an estimated $250,000 per episode.
Reports indicate that by the end of the show’s run, she was earning as much as series lead Ellen Pompeo does for Grey’s Anatomy. While exact numbers have not been confirmed, industry estimates peg her as earning around a quarter-million dollars for each of the later season’s 15-18 episodes.
Over 6 total seasons spanning over 90 episodes, Viola Davis likely earned well over $20 million dollars total for How to Get Away With Murder before any bonuses or backend profits.
For an actress who earned less than $500k for most film roles early in her career, scoring $20 million+ from one hit TV show represented a major pay increase. And that income gave Davis more freedom to command higher salaries – as much as $5 million – for feature film projects at the same time.
How Much Did Viola Davis Make for Her Role in The Woman King?
For her lead role as Nanisca in the 2022 film The Woman King, Viola Davis likely earned a salary between $3-5 million.
The historical epic represented one of Davis’s largest film salary paydays yet. With a production budget over $50 million and Davis also credited as an executive producer, she negotiated quite a nice paycheck for starring in and backing this passion project.
To compare, Davis earned “just” $165,000 for starring in The Help back in 2011. So scoring millions for projects like The Woman King shows her tremendous star power and business savvy early in her career.
Considering that The Woman King grossed over $92 million at the box office, Davis can likely expect even more lucrative backend profits based on her producer credit as well.
What Awards Has Viola Davis Won?
As one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actresses, Viola Davis has won numerous awards and honors over her career:
- Won – Best Supporting Actress for Fences (2017)
- Won – Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for How to Get Away With Murder (2015)
- Won – Best Leading Actress in a Play for King Hedley II (2001)
- Won – Best Leading Actress in a Play for Fences (2010)
Some of Davis’s other awards include 2 Golden Globe awards, a SAG award, and a National Medal of Arts honor. She is only the second black woman ever to achieve elite “Triple Crown of Acting” status with her Tony, Emmy, and Oscar wins.
Given her continued career success in both film and television, expect Viola Davis to contend for more awards soon that further raise her elite status in Hollywood.
Why Is Viola Davis Considered Such a Renowned Actress?
There are several key reasons why Viola Davis is considered one of the most talented, decorated, and renowned actresses of contemporary cinema:
Elite acting skills and range
Critics consistently praise Davis for her superb acting talents – she has mastered nuanced roles across all genres from hard-hitting dramas to historical epics to her work in action and thriller projects.
Makes history as first black actress to achieve acting “triple crown”
By winning an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and multiple Tony Awards, Davis cemented herself in entertainment history for her unprecedented accomplishments across mediums.
Brings attention and prestige to projects centering black stories/voices
From The Help to How to Get Away with Murder, Davis elevates projects that bring prominence to marginalized perspectives in Hollywood.
Achieved widespread critical acclaim and awards recognition
Davis is one of only 29 actresses ever to complete the “Triple Crown of Acting” – her skills are widely praised by fans and critics alike.
Displayed exceptional versatility across theatre, film and television
Unlike most actors who stick to one medium, Davis has displayed a versatility to master completely different source materials across stages big and small.
There are few talents in the 21st century with a body of work and consistent level of critical appreciation to match Viola Davis. She is a living icon and will likely continue wowing audiences for years to come.
What TV Shows and Films Is Viola Davis Known For?
Throughout her acting career spanning over 30 years, some of Viola Davis’s most notable TV shows and films include:
- How to Get Away with Murder (2014-2020)
- Early career TV series: NYPD Blue, City of Angels, Century City
- The Woman King (2022)
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
- Fences (2016)
- The Help (2011)
- Doubt (2008)
- Antwone Fisher (2002) – first lead role
Some of Davis’s breakout early supporting film roles included projects like 2001’s Kate & Leopold, Far From Heaven, and Solaris around 2002.
But in the mid to late 2000s she began garnering lead roles in films while still mixing in acclaimed performances in ensemble casts like Doubt alongside Meryl Streep. Clearly her acting abilities have long made directors want to feature her talent in their films across genres.
Is Viola Davis Married? Who Is Her Husband?
Yes, Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis has been married to her husband Julius Tennon since 2003.
Tennon is an actor and producer known for small roles in shows like Dazed and Confused and Moesha very early in his career. He later transitioned into a producer role, with production credits expanding after his marriage to Davis.
Davis and Tennon actually met and co-starred together in a 1999 off-broadway play production before becoming romantically involved. They dated for about 3 years before getting married in June 2003.
As of late 2022, Davis and Tennon have been happily married for nearly 20 years. They have one daughter, Genesis, whom they adopted in 2011. Their family lives together residing primarily in residences in Los Angeles, California and Toluca Lake.
While Davis spends a lot of time filming projects all over North America, she and Tennon have said they make family and their marriage a priority whenever possible. There are no signs the 21+ year relationship is slowing down anytime soon.
What Charities or Social Causes Does Viola Davis Support?
Some of the main charities and social cause organizations Viola Davis actively supports through donations or raising awareness include:
- H.O.M.E (Helping Other Mothers Endure) – LA-based nonprofit helping at-risk young mothers transition out of the foster care system. Davis partners frequently with them donating money and gifts.
- Soles4Souls – nonprofit clothes charity dedicated to disrupting poverty. Davis has hosted clothing donation drives with them and contributed funds.
- Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN) – advocating for women’s rights and progress in entertainment/media fields. Davis works closely advising their programs.
- Hunger Is – organization focused on addressing rate of childhood hunger and malnutrition especially in underserved regions like Compton. Davis has made large financial contributions.
Given her own challenging upbringing experiencing poverty and family turmoil as a child, much of Viola Davis’s charity work focuses on assisting vulnerable families and mothers in need. She lends her voice, resources and time to make an impact on the ground level.
Davis also participates in philanthropic efforts broadly supporting arts education and early childhood programs impacting families of color. As her platforms continue growing, she makes sure to use it advocate for those in need.
In summary, Viola Davis has rapidly emerged as Hollywood’s premiere leading lady, showcasing her phenomenal talents through acclaimed performances across film and television. Her raw and powerful acting abilities have earned her dozens of awards – including coveted Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards – cementing her status as an all-time great.
Davis has accumulated a net worth of $30 million and counting, citing her elite $20+ million salary for How to Get Away with Murder alone. Combined with mega paydays for projects like The Woman King plus endorsement deals with brands like L’Oreal, Davis’s wealth should continue rising for years to come.
But it is her willingness to bring visibility and voice to marginalized stories in the height of her fame that may be Davis’s greatest contribution. Giving her all into complex roles tackling racial injustice, poverty, and inequality for families that Hollywood has long ignored.
At just 57 years old, Viola Davis’s most iconic and socially groundbreaking performances likely still lie ahead. It will be a privilege to watch her talent and ascendance into rarefied status as she continues making history.
FAQs about Viola Davis’s Net Worth
How much is Viola Davis actually worth?
According to all reported estimations, Viola Davis’s current net worth is $30 million. The bulk of her wealth has been accumulated over the past decade thanks to lucrative acting salaries.
What was Viola Davis’s salary for How to Get Away with Murder?
Industry estimations report Viola Davis was making around $250,000 per episode by the final season of How to Get Away With Murder. Over 6 seasons those fees likely meant over $20 million in income from the hit TV drama.
Did Viola Davis win an Oscar?
Yes, in 2017 Viola Davis won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her acclaimed performance in the film Fences opposite Denzel Washington. This made her the first black actress to ever achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting” with her Oscar, Emmy and Tony award wins.
How much money did Viola Davis make from The Help?
While exact numbers have not been reported, Viola Davis likely earned around $165,000 – $200,000 for her supporting role as Aibileen Clark in The Help. She went on to earn millions more for lead roles in films very soon after.
Is Viola Davis the richest actress?
No, at an estimated net worth around $30 million, Viola Davis is not the overall richest actress in the world. However, she is certainly one of the highest-paid and most wealthy African-American / black actresses currently working in Hollywood today. Her net worth ranks very favorably for any leading lady in the movie industry overall.