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Viola Davis is the 🐐

The Central Falls native earns EGOT status

Viola Davis acknowledged the cheers of the audience onstage at the Grammy Awards Sunday night.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Rhode Islanders already knew that Viola Davis was special. Last night, she earned EGOT status.

The Central Falls native became just the 18th performer in history to have earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award during her remarkable career when her memoir, “Finding Me,” won a Grammy for best audio book, narration, and storytelling recording.

Think of it like securing the career grand slam in golf or tennis, only if, say, Tiger Woods also managed to win Wimbledon.

It took Davis 22 years to earn each of the four major American entertainment awards, tying her with composer Marvin Hamlisch for the eighth-shortest time span to join the exclusive club. Composer Robert Lopez holds the record for doing it the fastest, earning EGOT status in just 10 years between 2004 and 2014.


Davis won her first Tony award for best featured actress in a play in 2001 for her performance in “King Hedley II.” In 2015, she won the Emmy for best supporting actress on “How to Get Away with Murder.” She won the Oscar in 2017 for best supporting actress in “Fences.”

Davis could make even more history this year if her memoir earns a Pulitzer Prize. Only Hamlisch and composer Richard Rodgers have reached PEGOT status where the “P” stands for Pulitzer. (Three people have earned it by winning a Peabody award: producer Mike Nichols, actress Rita Moreno, and singer Barbra Streisand.)

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him @danmcgowan.