Viola Davis Wins the 2015 Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama

Viola Davis Wins the 2015 Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama

How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis has been awarded the 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, for her role as Annalise Keating. Annalise is a brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who, along with her ambitious law students, becomes entangled in a murder plot. Professor Keating is one of the most powerful characters on television today. She commands attention, overcomes obstacles, and leaves allies and adversaries alike in awe. Viola Davis herself is a force to be reckoned with, making history as the first African American actress to be awarded the Emmy for lead actress in a drama.

Here is Viola's full acceptance speech from Sunday:
"In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.’ That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So, here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes. People who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons and Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goodes, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you for the Television Academy. Thank you"

Viola Davis's Annalise Keating will return to ABC THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 10|9c.


RELATED: The How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Recap

In celebration of Viola and her one-of-a-kind role as Professor Annalise Keating, here are 7 Reasons We Love Annalise Keating:

7. She's direct. Annalise Keating is not afraid of confrontation. She demands answers to even the most difficult questions. We love that. Case in point: "Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?"

The Shocking Final 9 Words Are Revealed!|Annalise discovers what's on Lila's phone.|At the end of a long day, Annalise removes her wig, makeup and everything else she uses to present herself to the world. When her husband enters the room, she calmly turns to him and asks: "Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?" What?! Watch this powerful scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 4: Let's Get to Scooping.

6. She challenges others to be their best. Professor Keating is everything you hope your Criminal Law professor will be: brilliant, passionate, creative and charismatic. And she expects nothing less from her students. Just ask Wes.

Why Did Annalise Pick Wes?|Wes worries he got the job for the wrong reasons.|No one is more surprised than Wes when he is chosen as Professor Keating's final student to join her at the firm. He can't help but wonder if it's because of the secret he uncovered about Nate. Is he right? Watch this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot.

5. She's sexy. Powerful, brilliant AND hot? No wonder everyone wants her — or wants to be her!

Nate and Annalise's Hot Sex Scene|"Are we terrible people"?|Feeling the effects of a difficult time, Annalise turns to Nate during the winter finale. They end up having sex again. Watch this hot scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 9: Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me.


4. There's more to Annalise than meets the eye. At first glance, Annalise seems like she has it all. She's a stunning, powerful lawyer with a perfect life, right? Well, not exactly...

Annalise Surprises Wes|What brings Professor Keating to tears?|What brings Professor Keating to tears in the series premiere? Watch as she opens up to Wes in this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot.

3. Annalise fights for what she believes in. And she doesn't accept defeat. She's also extremely strategic. (Though some might say manipulative is a better word. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to!)

Annalise Is Defending Rebecca|A decision is made about the Lila Stangard case.|Annalise makes a decision about the Lila Stangard case. She will, indeed, be representing one of the suspects in the case. Surprise! She's defending Rebecca. And she'll have her work cut out for her, as her new client just confessed to murder. Watch this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 3: Smile, Or Go to Jail.

2. She's human. Annalise is incredibly strong and intelligent, yet also vulnerable and at times insecure. She's good and bad, confident and confused. She feels like a real person. What's not to love about that?

Annalise Needs Sam|"I need you... and I love you."|Annalise admits that she needs Sam. She loves him. Sam loves her, too. Watch this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 6: Freakin' Whack-A-Mole.

1. We never know what she's going to do next. There is so much to love about this character that it was hard to narrow it down to seven things. But this one tops the list! Annalise always keeps us guessing, and just when we think she can't possibly surprise us more, she does. Keep it up, Professor Keating. We love it...and we love you!


ABC's 2015 Emmy Winners - The Full List

Cicely Tyson Nominated for a 2015 Emmy Award

Ready to see what's in store for Annalise next? Don't miss the season premiere of How to Get Away with Murder THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24 10|9c!

The Winter Finale Shocker!|Watch this jaw-dropping moment from the night Sam was killed.|A clearly upset Annalise tells the Keating Five that her husband is missing and to prepare for questions from the police. He was having an affair with Lila. She wants them to be completely honest. Wes assures her they will. Cut to the night before. We see Wes go back for the trophy... but he's not alone. Annalise is there! She knows Sam is dead. Watch this shocking moment from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1 Episode 9: Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me. #WhoKilledSam