|Ruby Dee||(9 December 1948 - 4 February 2005) (his death) 3 children|
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.
Lived in New Rochelle, New York.
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, DC.
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.
Served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a medical technician.
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