Geena Davis

Actress & Producer

Deauville Talent Award 2019

Academy Award winner Geena Davis, one of Hollywood's most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks, is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments.

After holding honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1989 for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan's The Accidental Tourist. She was nominated three years later for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. Davis went to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in 1993 for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own.

Other credits include iconic films such as Sydney Pollack's Tootsie (1982), her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman, David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986), Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988), Renny Harlin's The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and Rob Minkoff' Stuart Little (1999).

In 2006, Davis won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama for her role as the first female President of the United States in ABC's hit show Commander in Chief (2005-2006). She also starred in series The Geena Davis Show (2000-2001), Grey's Anatomy (2014-2018), and GLOW (2019).

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actress, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation's 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, and is now recognized for her tireless advocacy of women nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments.

In 2012, she was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.

In 2015, Davis and Trevor Drinkwater launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) to champion women and minorities in media. BFF's mission is to encourage content creation in film and other forms of media that reflects the diverse — and half female — world we live in. BFF proactively supports content creation by minorities and women with a platform to showcase their work and, with the help of some partners, is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. The Festival takes place in early May in Bentonville, Arkansas and is research based and commercially driven.

Davis is also the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters – and reduce gender stereotyping – in media targeting children 11 and under.

Recently, she starred in 20th Century Fox's The Exorcist, a serialized psychological thriller based on the 1971 book of the same name, and the critically acclaimed feature film Marjorie Prime directed by Michael Almereyda. She also executive-produced the documentary film This Changes Everything directed by Tom Donahue, an investigative look and analysis of gender parity in Hollywood.