Since her early days on the red carpet, Viola Davis has remained steadfast in her approach to fashion—she understands which cuts flatter and accentuate her body shape, embraces bold hues (but isn’t one to shy away from an LBD or bright whites), and looks to old Hollywood glamour for inspiration (see: the crimson off-the-shoulder floor-length design by
Armani Privé she wore to collect her Oscar statuette for Best Supporting Actress in Fences in 2017, which also made her the first Black actor to win an Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony Award). To usher in 2021, the 55-year-old auteur is nominated for yet another Oscar, this time for Best Actress in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Plus, she was the cover star for , alongside her husband, Julius Tennon, and daughter, Genesis Tennon, in a photo shoot directed by Regina King. Ahead of the Academy Awards on April 25, take a look back at some of the actress’ best looks over the course of her illustrious career. W magazine’s 2021 Directors Issue
Law Abiding Citizen Premiere
Viola Davis arrives at the premiere screening of
Law Abiding Citizen in 2009 wearing a shocking pink dress.
Lime green is not a typical hue for a major awards show, but Davis made it work for the 64th Annual Tony Awards.
2011: Hollywood Film Awards
Another green moment for Davis arrives at the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala in 2011.
2011: Governors Award Dinner
Davis attended the The Academy’s 3rd Annual Governors Award Dinner in 2011 in gilded white.
2012: Critics’ Choice Awards
A vision in red, Davis attends the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Hollywood Palladium on January 12, 2012.
2012: Producers Guild Awards
At the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards in 2012, Davis wore a gorgeous emerald green gown.
Showing off her legs in caped burgundy, Davis arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012.
2012: The Academy Awards
With a stunning jade dress at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Davis kept her beauty look natural.
Davis channeled a Grecian goddess at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Davis arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2013 in one-shouldered turquoise.
2013: Hollywood Film Awards
At the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards in 2013.
Ender’s Game Premiere
Zig-zagging in electric blue, Davis arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere
Ender’s Game in 2013.
2014: The Academy Awards
Another Academy Awards red carpet, another jaw-dropping green gown, here in 2014.
How To Get Away With Murder Premiere
A feminine and flirty look for a premiere screening of her hit television show
How To Get Away With Murder.
A dramatic crimson moment at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2015.
Davis attends TNT’s 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in a white halter gown.
Taking home the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for
How to Get Away With Murder, Davis steps out in a rare print.
2016: Critics’ Choice Awards
Davis arrives at the The 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards in a stunning beaded turquoise moment.
Opting for a jumpsuit over the classic gown, Davis arrives at the 10th Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party.
Contrasting blue stripes make for a statement moment at the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards.
2017: The Academy Awards
To take home her Best Supporting Actress award, Davis chose a scarlet gown by Armani.
Viola Davis attends the Time 100 Gala at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City.
Attending the Disney ABC Television Group TCA summer press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 6, 2017.
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Viola Davis attends the premiere of
Widows during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
2018: The Academy Awards
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage
Davis wore baby pink Michael Kors to the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
At the 71st Emmy Awards in 2019.
2019: Critics’ Choice Awards
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Presenting the #SeeHer Award onstage during the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards in 2019.
How To Get Away With Murder Premiere Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
Davis wore a power combo one-shoulder jumpsuit to the premiere of the series finale of ABC's
How To Get Away With Murder in 2020.
Davis, wearing Alex Perry, appeared during the 2021 Super Bowl pre-game show.
Viola Davis wore Lavie by CK to the 2021 Golden Globe Awards.
Viola Davis wore lime green Louis Vuitton to the 2021 SAG Awards.
2021: The Academy Awards
Viola Davis wore a white Alexander McQueen gown to the 2021 Oscars