Some call ESSENCE August cover girl Viola Davis Hollywood’s best-kept secret.

Known for her stellar acting skills, Davis has garnered lots of recognition, including an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination.

Most recently, she won a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her role in “Fences,” opposite Denzel Washington. Now she’s gearing up to star as Aibileen Clark in “The Help,” a role she describes as the “most multifaceted and rich” she’s ever had.

While we eagerly await Viola’s turn in the already buzzed-about movie, we take a look at the South Carolina native’s life on-screen.

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