|Full Name||Virginia Elizabeth Davis|
|Birthday||January 21, 1956|
|Social||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
Geena Davis is an acclaimed actor and producer with Oscar and Golden Globe awards under her belt. But before the fame and accolades, she was just a girl from a small town with big dreams. This is the inspirational story of how Davis broke into Hollywood and became the legend she is today.
Small Town Upbringing
Davis was born in the quaint coastal town of Wareham, Massachusetts in 1956. Her father was a civil engineer and her mother worked as a teacher‘s aide. Young Geena grew up with a passion for music, playing piano, flute, and organ exceptionally well. She also held her own as a vocalist, participating in local performances.
But it was acting that truly captured Davis‘ heart. She was involved in community theater productions from a young age, foreshadowing the career she would one day embark on. After high school, Davis headed to New England College where she studied drama before transferring to Boston University to complete her bachelor‘s degree.
The Struggling Actor Years
Upon graduating in 1979, Davis made the bold move to New York City to pursue her acting dreams. Like many aspiring performers, she struggled to find work at first. Davis supported herself with odd jobs as a waitress and retail clerk while going on countless auditions.
Her first big break came in 1982 when she landed a small but memorable role as a soap opera actress in Tootsie. A few more minor parts followed until Davis got her big shot – the lead female role opposite Chevy Chase in Fletch (1985). Though a box office hit, it failed to make Davis a household name.
But through these early lean years, she persevered and continued to hone her craft in acting classes. Davis was determined to make it in Hollywood no matter what.
Rise to Fame and Critical Acclaim
Davis‘ star finally rose in the late 80s when she delivered an Oscar-winning performance as a quirky dog trainer in The Accidental Tourist (1988). This opened the floodgates to more prominent roles showcasing Davis‘ rare combination of humor, intelligence, and vulnerability.
She went on to landmark films like Thelma & Louise (1991) and A League of Their Own (1992) that cemented her status as one of Hollywood‘s top leading ladies. Davis earned rave reviews for bringing nuance, strength, and complexity to her female characters. Beyond the big screen, she won Emmys and Golden Globes for her work in TV.
Over her decades-long career, Davis has continued taking risks – stretching herself in provocative, offbeat films that highlight her immense range and talent. All her hard work paid off, as she is now regarded as true Hollywood royalty.
From Actress to Director and Producer
Never one to stay stagnant, Davis founded her own production company Genial Productions in the 90s. This allowed her to have greater creative control and bring passion projects to life. Most notably, she produced family favorite Stuart Little in 1999.
Venturing behind the camera, Davis also directed the TV movie Accidents Happen in 2005. Though it wasn’t a hit, it showed her willingness to wear multiple hats in the entertainment biz.
Throughout it all, Davis still found time for memorable acting roles like the first female president in Commander in Chief (2005), for which she won Emmy and Golden Globe awards. She continues performing today, proving her longevity and enduring star power.
Off-Screen Advocacy and Accomplishments
Beyond her prolific career, Davis has made significant contributions as an advocate for gender equality. After noticing an imbalance of male to female characters in children‘s media, she established the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004 to fight against these stereotypes.
Davis also co-founded the Bentonville Film Festival to promote diversity in the industry. And showing she’s beauty and brains, she became a member of Mensa boasting an impressive IQ of 140.
For her tireless work, Davis received the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony. She is a force within the entertainment world and beyond.
Why Geena Davis is So Inspiring
Her Authenticity Shines Through
Whether Davis is starring in slapstick comedies or serious dramas, her genuine personality and honesty always come through. This authenticity makes her characters relatable.
She‘s a Pioneer for Female Performers
During a time when acting opportunities were limited for women, Davis broke barriers by demanding meaty, complex roles in male-dominated genres.
Her Advocacy Creates Real Change
Davis moves beyond just talking about issues by conducting research and providing concrete tools to help transform how females are portrayed in media.
Fun Facts About the Legendary Geena Davis
She‘s a Member of Mensa
With an IQ of 140, Davis qualifies for Mensa – the largest society for high IQ individuals. Only the top 2% of scorers make it in.
She Created Her Own Board Game
Combining her love of acting and inventing, Davis created a trivia board game in 1999 called Geena‘s World centered around geography facts.
She was Almost a Rockette
Before acting, Davis almost became a Rockette dancer but at 5‘10" was told she was too tall for the famous troupe.
She‘s a Trained Archer
Davis picked up archery in 1997 to prepare for a movie role and wound up competing at national and world championship levels.
She‘s an Accomplished Drummer
Adding to her many talents, Davis taught herself to play the drums and performed percussion at a Sundance Film Festival event in 2005.
Geena Davis‘ Legacy
When all is said and done, Geena Davis has made an undeniable impact on Hollywood and beyond. Her brilliant acting work inspired generations of women and smashed stereotypes. She opened doors for female performers to take on leading, complex roles across all genres.
As a director and producer, Davis paved the way for more women to have positions of creative power in the industry. And through tireless advocacy, she continues working to reshape unfair gender representations in media and society.
Davis is a testament to following one‘s dreams against all odds. From small town girl to Hollywood legend, her life and career remain an inspiration.