Gender
Male
Born
Dec 18, 1917
Cogdell, Georgia, USA
Died
Feb 04, 2005
Miami, Florida, USA
Performer Writer Source Material
Relations
Father of
Guy Davis
Husband of
Ruby Dee (December 9, 1948 - his death)
Comments
Biography: Ossie Davis was born Raiford Chatman Davis on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Clinch County, Georgia to Laura and Kince Charles Davis. He attended Howard University and then joined the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem. He served in the United States Army during World War II as a medical technician. He married actress Ruby Dee, a fellow civil rights activist. They had three children: Guy, Nora Day, and Hasna Muhammad.

Film/TV Credits: Film credits include: "Do the Right Thing," "Malcolm X," "Dinosaur," "The Client," "Grumpy Old Men," "Doctor Dolittle," "Fourteen Hours," "Joe Versus the Volcano," "Jungle Fever," "Gladiator," "School Daze," and "She Hate Me." Television credits include: "The L Word," "Bonanza," "JAG," "Hawaii Five-O," "Third Watch," "Touched by an Angel," "The Fugitive," and "Night Gallery."

Other Awards: Named to NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame with his wife, Ruby Dee, in 1989. Inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1994. Awarded the American National Medal of the Arts with Ruby Dee in 1995. Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special for "Finding Buck McHenry" in 2001. Received the Kennedy Center Honors with Ruby Dee in 2004. Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album with Ruby Dee for "With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together" in 2007.

Trivia:
He delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X in 1965. In 1968, he eulogized Dr. King.
The marquees of Broadway theaters were dimmed in his honor on February 4, 2005.
I'm Not Rappaport (Nov 19, 1985 - Jan 17, 1988)
  • Starring: Ossie Davis
    • Midge - Replacement (Sep 02, 1986 - Oct 04, 1987)
PlayComedyOriginal
Purlie (Dec 27, 1972 - Jan 07, 1973)
  • Book by Ossie Davis
  • Based on the play "Purlie Victorious" by Ossie Davis
MusicalComedyRevival
Purlie (Mar 15, 1970 - Nov 06, 1971)
  • Book by Ossie Davis
  • Based on "Purlie Victorious" by Ossie Davis
MusicalComedyOriginal
The Zulu and the Zayda (Nov 10, 1965 - Apr 16, 1966)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Johannes]
MusicalComedyOriginal
Purlie Victorious (Sep 28, 1961 - May 13, 1962)
  • Starring: Ossie Davis [Purlie Victorious Judson]
  • Written by Ossie Davis
PlayComedyOriginal
A Raisin in the Sun (Mar 11, 1959 - Jun 25, 1960)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis
    • Walter Lee Younger - Replacement
    • Walter Lee Younger - Replacement
PlayDramaOriginal
Jamaica (Oct 31, 1957 - Apr 11, 1959)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Cicero]
MusicalOriginal
No Time for Sergeants (Oct 20, 1955 - Sep 14, 1957)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis
    • A Lieutennant - Replacement
PlayComedyOriginal
The Wisteria Trees (Feb 02, 1955 - Feb 13, 1955)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Jacques]
PlayDramaRevival
Touchstone (Feb 03, 1953 - Feb 07, 1953)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Dr. Joseph Clay]
PlayDramaOriginal
Remains to Be Seen (Oct 03, 1951 - Mar 22, 1952)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Al]
PlayComedyOriginal
The Green Pastures (Mar 15, 1951 - Apr 21, 1951)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Gabriel]
PlayRevival
The Royal Family (Jan 10, 1951 - Jan 21, 1951)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Jo]
PlayComedyRevival
The Wisteria Trees (Mar 29, 1950 - Sep 16, 1950)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Jacques]
PlayDramaOriginal
The Smile of the World (Jan 12, 1949 - Jan 15, 1949)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Stewart]
PlayOriginal
The Leading Lady (Oct 18, 1948 - Oct 23, 1948)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Trem]
PlayOriginal
Jeb (Feb 21, 1946 - Feb 28, 1946)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis [Jeb Turner]
PlayOriginal
A Celebration of Paul Robeson (Oct 30, 1988 - Oct 30, 1988)
  • Performer: Ossie Davis
SpecialBenefitOriginal

Tony Award®

 

Best Musical

1970 | Nominee  | Purlie
Book by Ossie Davis
 

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

1958 | Nominee  | Jamaica
Performer: Ossie Davis

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