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Robert Davi Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 26 June 1951Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameRobert John Davi
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robert Davi is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, director, producer and jazz vocalist.

From his portrayal of the opera singing baddie in "The Goonies" and one of the most popular James Bond villains Franz Sanchez in "Licence to Kill" to FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in" Die Hard" or Al Torres in "Showgirls" to most recently Leo Marks in "The Iceman " Robert Davi is one of the film industry's most recognized tough guys . He has also starred in the small screen in hit shows like Profiler, Stargate Atlantis, Criminal Minds and CSI . With over 140 film and TV credits he has frightened us , romanced us ,made us cry or split our seams laughing . He is also one of the top vocalists of our day in interpreting the Great American Songbook, thrilling audiences by playing top venues like the Venetian in Las Vegas where he headlines or for 10,000 people at the Harry Chapin Theater in East Meadow ,Long Island or the Orleans in Vegas where he gave 3 sellout shows with Don Rickles. His debut album Davi Sings Sinatra- On the Road to Romance produced by Phil Ramone shot to number 6 for more than several weeks on Billboard's Jazz Charts.

In his early acting years, Davi attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship. He then moved to Manhattan, New York where he studied with the legendary acting coach Stella Adler, who became his mentor. Davi became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, where he studied with acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Always perfecting his craft, Davi studied under Sandra Seacat, Larry Moss, Milton Katselas, Martin Landau, Mala Powers and George Shdanoff, the creative partner and collaborator with Michael Chekhov.

Robert Davi was born in Astoria, Queens, to Maria (Rulli) and Sal Davi. His father was an Italian immigrant and his mother was of Italian descent. Davi was introduced to film when he was cast opposite Frank Sinatra in the telefilm, "Contract on Cherry Street." Later, his work as a Palestinian terrorist in the award-winning television movie, "Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami" brought him critical acclaim and caught the eye of legendary James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli and writer Richard Maibaum, who cast Davi as Colombian drug lord and lead villain Franz Sanchez in the Bond film "Licence to Kill." Today, Davi is one of the top Bond villains of all time ranking at the top on many lists. Davi also received critical acclaim within the industry for his provocative portrayal of Bailey Malone in "Profiler." The show struck a chord with audiences, paving the way for such shows as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Without a Trace," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Criminal Minds" and many others. In 2004, Davi joined the cast of television's "Stargate: Atlantis," which earned Davi many science fiction fans. He has also shown his comedic strength in films such as "The 4th Tenor" with Rodney Dangerfield and "The Hot Chick," produced by Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler.

Having appeared in more than 100 motion pictures, some of Davi's most notable film credits span 30 years and include cult-classics and blockbuster hits with roles as Jake Fratelli in "The Goonies," Max Keller in "Raw Deal," Special Agent Big Johnson in "Die Hard," Al Torres in "Showgirls," Leo Marks in "The Iceman" with Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans and James Franco, and most recently, with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger among a large A-list cast in "Expendables 3." He has worked with such directors as Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, Blake Edwards, John McTiernan, Paul Verhoeven and Patrick Hughes. In addition, he has worked on film projects with acting talent such as Marlon Brando, Roberto Benigni, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Walken, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Glover and Catherine Zeta Jones, to name a few.

In 2007, Davi produced, directed, co-wrote, and starred in "The Dukes," which tells the story of a once-successful Doo Wop group who fall on hard times. The film won nine awards including the coveted Coup de Coeur award. Davi was also awarded Best First-time Director and Best Screenplay in the Monte Carlo Festival of Comedy by the legendary director Ettore Scola where Prince Albert presented him with the awards. Davi was the only first-time director in the Premiere Section of the International Rome Film Festival along with Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet, Julie Taymor and others.

In October of 2011, Davi released his debut album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance (produced by Grammy award-winning producer Phil Ramone) to rave reviews. Within weeks of its highly anticipated release, the album soared onto Billboard Magazine's Top 10 Jazz Chart taking the number 6 spot for several weeks. In response to the release, the legendary Quincy Jones stated, "As FS would say, 'Koo, Koo.' Wow! I have never heard anyone come this close to Sinatra's sound - and still be himself. Many try, but Robert Davi has the voice, tone, the flavor and the swagger. What a surprise. He absolutely touched me down to my soul and brought back the essence and soul of Ol' Blue Eyes himself." In support of the album release, Davi is touring the U.S. with his live stage show, receiving standing ovations. He has performed at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas for a three-night engagement, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza with a 55-piece orchestra, the National Italian-American Foundation's (NIAF) special tribute to the 25th anniversary of its Lifetime Achievement Award to Frank Sinatra at the Washington Hilton in D.C., the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif., with David Foster at the Beverly Hilton, and in August of 2013, at Long Island's Eisenhower Park for more than 10,000 people. In November of 2013, Davi released the Christmas single, "New York City Christmas."

Besides working in film, television, and music and raising his five children, four dogs and two cats, Davi keeps busy volunteering his time with such charities as The Dream Foundation, Exceptional Children's Foundation, Heart of a Child Foundation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Youth Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, Heart of a Horse, NIAF, The Order 'Sons of Italy' in America (OSIA), and UNICO . Since its inception in 1998, Davi has been the National Spokesperson for i-Safe America, which is regarded by many internet experts as the most complete internet safety program in the country and is available in grades K-12 in all 50 U.S. states.

Among his numerous awards for career achievement and community involvement, Davi has received the George M. Estabrook Distinguished Service Award from the Hofstra University Alumni Association (past recipients include Francis Ford Coppola and William Safire). In 2000, Davi was awarded the FBI's Man of the Year Award in Los Angeles. In 2004, Davi was named KNX radios' "Citizen of the Week" for saving a young girl from a fire in her home. The same year, he also received the Sons of Italy's Royal Court of the Golden Lion Award, including a $20,000 donation to a foundation in which he is involved. In addition, he received the 2004 STEP Award (Science, Technology and Education Partnership). In 2007, Davi was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Board of Governors in New York, where New York State recognized his value as an artist and community leader. In 2008, he received the Italo-Americano Award from the Capri-Hollywood Festival. In 2011, Davi was awarded the "Military Order of the Purple Heart" (MOPH) Special Recognition Award for dedication and service honoring America's service members, veterans, and their families. In June of 2013, Davi was honored with a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

Davi is on The Steering Committee for George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute and is the only entertainer among 28 members, which consists of mainly Senators and former heads of the FBI and CIA. Davi has developed Civilian Patrol 93, which is at Homeland Security, where a lesson plan is being written.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Verena King PR

Spouse (3)

Christine Bolster (19 August 1990 - present) (filed for divorce) (4 children)
Jeri McBride (29 November 1980 - 1 January 1990) (divorced) (1 child)
Jan Borenstein (14 February 1971 - 2 July 1980) (divorced)

Trivia (13)

Originally trained as an opera-singer, until he damaged his voice. Sometime protégé of famous opera star Tito Gobbi.
Children: Sean Christian Davi (b.1981) with Jeri McBride, Ariana Marie Davi (b.April 3th 1990), Frances Davi (b.1992), Isabella Davi and Nicholas Edward Davi (twins, born on January 11th 2001) with Christine Bolster.
Only actor to star in all three of MGM's biggest franchises - James Bond, Pink Panther and Stargate (he is a recurring character on Stargate: Atlantis (2004)).
Attended Seton Hall High School, Patchogue, New York.
Attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship.
Made his professional debut with Long Island's Lyric Opera Company.
Met his wife-to-be Christine Bolster in 1989 when he invited friend Mickey Rourke over to his home for some karaoke fun. Rourke, who was dating the fashion model at the time, introduced her to Davi, and he vowed to Rourke that he would marry her one day. Bolster later received an invitation from Davi to join him on a pictorial spread he was doing for GQ Magazine. He proposed to her during the shoot and they married soon after.
Loves Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
He went to Catholic primary schools on Long Island as a kid and then to Seton Hall, a Catholic high school in Patchogue, New York.
He got into Hofstra University on a drama scholarship and began working with its famous Shakespeare program, which includes a campus replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. After a time, though, he lost interest in school. Instead, he held a larger ambition: to work with the great Stella Adler. He ended up studying with Adler for three years and also studied with Lee Strasberg. During his apprenticeship, he acted in a rich variety of plays, from Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" and "The Seagull" to William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
His father, Sal, was born in southern Italy, and though his mother, Mary, was born in America, her family came from southern Italy as well.
Speaks fluent Italian.
Between 1977 and 1979, his parents, his sister and two of his grandparents died. Davi says dealing with the family tragedies was profoundly painful.

Personal Quotes (12)

[on George W. Bush and the "war on terrorism"] We have to protect America. And I think that, thank God we have this administration and this president.
I know a couple of my friends - quite a few - there is a conservative movement in Hollywood, and we kind of stay amongst ourselves.
The war on terrorism is part of the war with Iraq.
Great storytellers in the past would go to an unknown land and return to tell the stories they've found. Those were also journeys into their inner psyches and that's still true today. An actor, a writer, does that as if saying, "Here's what I've discovered about myself and about the world I'm in. I would like to share this with you." It's an act of giving.
I can play the bad guy, the character with the edge, but I would like him to get the girl without having to put a gun to her head, you know? Look at the careers of Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney started out playing the adversary, too. I feel an affinity towards them. Right now, you have a lot of leading boys, but no leading men in the old sense of the word. There's a need for that and I think I can bring that to the screen.
([on his beginning acting training] I was frustrated at Hofstra [University], so I moved to Manhattan, worked as a waiter and at a fruit-and-vegetable stand. I lived in a cheap railroad flat on East 171st Street, took classes at Juilliard and finally worked my way into Stella Adler's Actors Studio. And that made all the difference. This woman was like getting a flame inside you, she was so inspirational.
[on being typecast] If you look at the careers of people like Anthony Quinn, [James Cagney, even Tommy Lee Jones, they all were cast as villains. There comes a certain point in your life, in your late 30s, early 40s, when suddenly that can change. Maybe a director sees a glimpse of something else within you along the way. I played comedy in The Goonies (1985), which showed something else was going on. Even when I played the Bond villain in Licence to Kill (1989), there were some people who were rooting for that character ahead of the traditional hero. Now, in Profiler (1996), I get to play Bailey Malone, and I get to show another essence of myself. Stage performances show off multi-varied aspects of an actor, film has always been something else entirely. You always have a prejudice as to what you can and can't do, but your soul is able to come out more.
In the eighth grade I found I had a voice for opera, so I followed that path a little, but my impulse has always been an actor. I have always liked cinema, and let's face it, opera singers are just bad actors! I didn't want to translate myself in that direction. My heroes were people like Spencer Tracy, Bogart [Humphrey Bogart], Mitchum [Robert Mitchum], Marvin [Lee Marvin], Richardson [Ralph Richardson], Caine [Michael Caine], all those sort.
[2008, on Son of the Pink Panther (1993)] I love Benigni's [Roberto Benigni] work, and to be able to go to the south of France for three months, and then Pinewood Studios and then to Jordan. I just remember having a very good time filming that.
[2008, on Showgirls (1995)]) I love Paul Verhoeven's work in Soldier of Orange (1977), and his films. The films he's getting back to making now, you know what I'm saying? I saw those films when they first came out, and I just always wanted to work with him. I almost did Total Recall (1990). I didn't, because I didn't want to play the bad guy in that film. But later on with "Showgirls", I hadn't really done anything with a real edge. So wanting to work with Verhoeven was the absolute main reason I did the picture, and also not playing a character that had formalities, and wanting to then bring something different to that character. For instance, I didn't want to be the guy that had the typical three-piece suit, jacket and tie, running a strip joint. So I asked Paul Verhoeven, "Could I be a little more predatory? Could I pick out a leopard-skin pattern for the shirt?" And I did. After that film, even The Rolling Stones, I think Keith Richards--the pattern of that shirt I had in "Showgirls" started to be seen a bit. And the little dance I did there with Nomi [Elizabeth Berkley] when she's gonna be the star, unfortunately it comes back to bite me on the ass a little bit, because people that don't tend to know my whole body of work . . . I can't tell you the community of people that loved the picture. It used to play like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
[2008, on Die Hard (1988)] Joel Silver called me and said, "Hey, I've got this character. I think you're going to like this character." And it was Big Johnson. That was a lot of fun, and it became a huge hit and kind of in the classic realm. That's a talented up]--McTiernan [director John McTiernan] and Joel Silver. You know, at the time, Bruce Willis wasn't really--if this film didn't work, it wasn't going to be good for him. And it just defied everyone's--McTiernan had done a film, Nomads (1986), so there was a huge buzz on him in the first Predator (1987). And it was a huge, just a huge surprise. Didn't know.
[2008, on The Goonies (1985)] I had a great time. Dick Donner [director Richard Donner], fantastic. Steven Spielberg, absolutely terrific to work with. He did the second-unit shooting for three and a half, five months. And Frank Marshall did the third-unit shooting. So you had three great talents filming it all, and you went from one set to another sometimes, because of all the effects and things we didn't have CGI stuff for. The thing I remember mostly--there were a few things, but again, me wanting to create Jake Fratelli in this. And also Chris Columbus wrote the screenplay. But I remember saying, "All right, we've got eight kids in this," or six kids, or whatever it was, "and this big set and the pirate thing. Now what am I going to bring to this character that's unique and unusual?" And the scene when I feed Sloth his food in the basement gave me the key to my whole character. It was written that I'd just put the food down and when Sloth went to reach for it, I'd move it away sadistically with my foot, and then I would bring it closer and move it away a little more. I felt that it was totally unsympathetic. And I wanted to create a character that you could also laugh [at] and have sympathy for in a certain way. So what I did was, I told Steven Spielberg--not told, I asked--Dick Donner and Steven Spielberg that I had an idea about Jake Fratelli, and that was that he was a frustrated opera singer and no one would listen to him. His brother Francis, his mother would never listen to him. But the only time he had a chance to express himself was when he was feeding Sloth. So, "Sing for your supper?" Listen to me for your supper. So I introduced the opera-singing there, and when Sloth just starts to scream over my singing, it hurts my feelings, because now he's not even listening to me. And then I'm able to say, "Here, you want your food? Here's your food. You don't listen to me! Nobody listens to me." And then having Anne Ramsey, I used to say to her, "I want you to slap me whenever you can."

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