RI native makes Oscar history; sister says their Central Falls childhood helped

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I (WPRI) — For her performance in the movie “Fences,” Central Falls native Viola Davis was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress on Tuesday. Davis is the first black woman to ever have been nominated for three Oscars.

Davis’s older sister, Deloris Grant, never left the Ocean State. She told Eyewitness News she believed their childhood in Rhode Island helped her become the successful actress Davis is today.

“There were so many factors growing up in Central Falls, even though we may have grown up where there was poverty, I feel that it’s the best place ever,” Grant said. She called their situation a “conducive place to being creative.”

Grant is a drama teacher at Central Falls High School. The sisters moved to Central Falls from North Carolina when they were children because their father changed jobs.

“I think my father had a very dramatic side to him, so I think that my father probably was the reason why we were drawn to acting and we could make believe.”

Grant said she was excited to hear about the latest nomination and how her sister would be going down in history.

In the Best Supporting Actress category, Davis is competing against Naomie Harris in “Moonlight,” Nicole Kidman in “Lion,” Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures,” and Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea.”. The winner will be announced February 26.

“I hope to be in attendance,” at the awards ceremony, Grant said.