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Viola Davis: My life at 50

Published 29/07/2015

Viola Davis
Viola Davis

Viola Davis has recalled her impoverished childhood.

The American actress has twice been nominated for an Oscar, first for Doubt then for The Help, and has secured her status as a household name with TV show How to Get Away with Murder.

However her successful life now is a world away from how she grew up.

"Turning 50 is making me reflect on my life in a way that’s more compassionate and forgiving. I’m able to almost accept the old me," she told AARP magazine.

Viola reaches the milestone on August 11. Recalling her childhood on a former plantation in South Carolina, the star admits being hungry was a part of everyday life. Racism also featured heavily too.

“Most of the time, the school lunch was the only meal I had. I would befriend kids whose mothers cooked three meals a day and go to their homes when I could.

“People would throw things out of cars and call us the N-word. It was constant,” she remembered.

At the age of nine Viola even tried her hand at shoplifting, but her criminal career was over before if even really began.

"The store owner screamed at me to get out, looking at me like I was nothing, and the shame of that forced me to stop.

“When you grow up poor, you dream of just having a home and a bed that’s clean - that’s a sanctuary. As kids, we often didn’t have bus fare, so to have a car today - it’s unbelievable,” she added.

© Cover Media

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