Who Is Viola Davis’ Husband, Julius Tennon? Meet The Football Player Turned Actor

Queen of stage and screen Viola Davis is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role as Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. One person who will definitely be at the 93rd Academy Awards cheering her on? Viola’s husband, Julius Tennon.

Julius has been by the actress’ side at previous award shows this season, including via video chat, and it’s not shocking: After all, Julius and Viola are beyond tight. Not only does he constantly support his famous wife, but Viola once gave Julius a sweet shout-out as “the love of my life” in a Father’s Day Instagram post. (Awww!)

The way these two met is kind of like a fairy tale. Viola told Page Six in 2013 that she was “the loneliest woman in the world” and prayed for a husband on a friend’s advice. So, she said she prayed for “a big Black man from the South who looked like a football player, who already had children, who maybe had been married before.” Less than a month later, she met Julius.

But who is Julius Tennon, exactly? Here’s everything you need to know about Viola’s husband.

He’s a former college football player.

Julius earned a full scholarship to play football at the University of Tulsa. There, he switched from playing offense to defense. “I like hitting guys more than I liked being hit,” Julius in a University of Tulsa profile in 2016. Julius eventually had to stop playing due to knee injuries.


A post shared by VIOLA DAVIS (@violadavis)

Julius approached Viola first.

The couple appeared on the OWN series, Black Love, where they talked about their relationship. In it, Julius detailed how he overheard Viola talking to a friend about how she wanted to meet someone special. So, he walked over to her and gave her his card.

Viola, who was a working actress but not famous yet, had bad credit at the time and was ashamed of it. So, she waited to call her future husband. Finally, she decided to reach out and they had a great date.

He called her after their date ended to tell her that she was beautiful and that he had a great time with her. “After my first date with Julius, my life got better,” Viola said. “Every way—anxiety went away, fear went away—he just made my life better.”

Julius married Viola in 2003.

The couple had a small wedding—just 15 guests—in their condo. They later had a second wedding in front of 100 people in Rhode Island, according to E. They adopted their daughter, Genesis, in 2011.


A post shared by VIOLA DAVIS (@violadavis)

He’s an actor, too.

Julius has a pretty impressive resume. He was on Criminal Minds for seven years, Friday Night Lights, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and How to Get Away with Murder, according to IMDb. He even played Simone Biles’ grandfather in a made-for-TV movie about the Olympian’s life.

Julius has worked with his wife.

Julius appeared in the opening episode of season four of Viola’s hit TV show, How to Get Away with Murder. “Viola and I love to work together; we relish it,” he told University of Tulsa of the experience.

And he works out with her, too.

Viola recently shared an Instagram video of herself crushing a workout. Who was next to her the whole time? Julius, of course. The two did bicep presses, arm curls, weighted bends, and kettle ball slams, all together. #PowerCouple vibes, right?


A post shared by VIOLA DAVIS (@violadavis)

Julius has children from a previous marriage.

He has three kids total—daughter Genesis with Viola, and two children from a previous marriage. He also has seven grandchildren, according to the University of Tulsa.

He’s so in love (but you might’ve already guessed that).

Julius told the University of Tulsa that Viola is “the love of my life.” Okay, seriously, could this couple be any cuter?

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