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Brad Davis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 6 November 1949Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Date of Death 8 September 1991Los Angeles, California, USA  (assisted suicide)
Birth NameRobert Creel Davis
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Florida in 1949, Brad Davis moved to Georgia after graduating from high school to pursue an acting career. From there, he moved to New York City, twice, to find work. By the early 1970s Davis was acting in off-Broadway plays while studying acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage work led to his movie debut and to television shows such as the hit Sybil (1976) and the mini-series Roots (1977). His biggest success was in 1978 with the lead role in Midnight Express (1978) where he played Billy Hayes, a young American imprisoned in Turkey for drug smuggling. It won him a Golden Globe award.

Another memorable movie role in 1982 was playing the title character of Querelle (1982), a ruggedly lethal sailor who seduces and sets both men and women's hearts aflutter.

Davis contracted AIDS in 1979 apparently from his one-time cocaine addiction, but in response to the anti-AIDS hysteria in Hollywood, Davis kept his illness a secret for a number of years and continued to act. His later years had him finally revealing that he had AIDS and he became an AIDS activist in bashing the Hollywood industry and US government for ignoring and shunning victims suffering from the hideous disease. Davis died in 1991 at age 41. His widow, Susan Bluestein, continues his activist work in the fight against AIDS.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay

Spouse (1)

Susan Bluestein (29 December 1976 - 8 September 1991) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (13)

Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1978" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 30.
Brother of actor Gene Davis.
In 1985 Davis won critical acclaim for his portrayal of the lover of a man dying of AIDS in Larry Kramer's play "The Normal Heart". Still, his film career foundered...the only film in which he starred after this was Percy Adlon's comedy Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989).
Davis took a professional risk by accepting the title role as a gay sailor in Querelle (1982), Rainer Werner Fassbinder's screen adaptation of a novel by Jean Genet. Associates in the entertainment industry warned Davis that taking this part, especially after performances in other gay-themed theatrical works such as Larry Kramer's "Sissies' Scrapbook" (1973) and Joe Orton's "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" (1981), would be detrimental to his career. Nevertheless, Davis chose to work with Fassbinder on what would turn out to be the director's last film. Unfortunately, Querelle (1982) was a commercial failure and generally not well-received by critics.
Born into a southern aristocratic family, he was reportedly a direct descendant of Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
Growing up, he was known as Bobby Davis (his first name was actually Robert). However, once he arrived in New York, there was already another actor named Bobby Davis, so Davis went by the name Brad Davis.
Bisexual in real life, he was deemed a gay film icon for the number of gay-themed plays and films he appeared in despite the warnings that it could damage his career.
At seventeen, after winning a music talent contest, Davis worked at Theatre Atlanta before moving to New York City.
According to an article in The New York Times published in 1987, the actor's mother sexually abused him. His father was an alcoholic whose dental practice declined as a result. As an adult, Brad was both an alcohol and drug user before becoming sober in 1981.
Born in Tallahassee, Florida to Eugene Davis, a dentist, and his wife, the former Anne Creel. His brother, Gene Davis, is also an actor.
Married casting director Susan Bluestein in 1979 and had one child, Alexandra. In 1979, Davis, a former intravenous drug user, contracted HIV, by 1985 it had developed into AIDS, a condition the couple kept secret until just prior to his death by assisted suicide. Shortly after his passing she wrote the memoir "After Midnight: The Life and Death of Brad Davis" with Hilary De Vries. His widow continues to be an AIDS activist.
He was considered for the role of Kane in Alien (1979).
Pat McNamara, Annabella Price, Ebbe Roe Smith, Priscilla Smith and he were awarded the 1982 Drama Logue Award for Outstanding Ensemble for "Metamorphosis" at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Personal Quotes (1)

Hollywood is an industry that gives umpteen benefits and charity affairs with proceeds going to (AIDS) research. But in actual fact, if an actor is even rumored to have HIV, he gets no support on an individual basis. He does not work.

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