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Ossie Davis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (17)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 18 December 1917Cogdell, Georgia, USA
Date of Death 4 February 2005Miami Beach, Florida, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameRaiford Chatman Davis
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ossie Davis was born on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia, USA as Raiford Chatman Davis. He was an actor and writer, known for Doctor Dolittle (1998), Do the Right Thing (1989) and Bubba Ho-Tep (2002). He was married to Ruby Dee. He died on February 4, 2005 in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

Spouse (1)

Ruby Dee (9 December 1948 - 4 February 2005) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Deep commanding voice

Trivia (17)

Named to NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame with his wife, Ruby Dee, in 1989.
The county clerk misunderstood his mother's dialectal pronunciation of his initials "R.C." when he was born. He thought he heard "Ossie" and registered him as such. The name stuck.
Was a featured speaker at the funeral of both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Lived in New Rochelle, New York.
Recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, along with Elton John, Joan Sutherland, John Williams, Warren Beatty and wife Ruby Dee.
Had three children his with Ruby Dee: Guy Davis, Nora Davis Day and Hasna Muhammad.
Was the oldest of five children.
His brother, Dr. William Davis, a professor in San Antonio, Texas, holds several patents, one of which is for the chemical process to produce instant mashed potatoes.
Twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1958 as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) for "Jamaica", and in 1970 as co-author of the book for Best Musical nominee "Purlie".
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch).
He and his wife Ruby Dee were awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1995 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Had played the father of Jennifer Beals' character on The L Word (2004). In a powerful performance, fitting of his legacy, his character died in the episode "L'Chaim". This was his final performance before his own death, and the episode was dedicated to his memory.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 128-130. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Broadway debut as playwright with "Purlie Victorious" in 1961.
Studied drama with the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem, New York City.
Served in the United States Army during World War II as a medical technician.
Had appeared with his wife Ruby Dee in nine films: No Way Out (1950), Gone Are the Days! (1963), The Sheriff (1971), Cool Red (1976), Roots: The Next Generations (1979), All God's Children (1980), Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991) and The Stand (1994).

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