Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Character Actor Don S. Davis Passes On

Character actor Don S. Davis, who had roles on Twin Peaks and Stargate SG-1, passed on June 29 at the age of 65. The cause was a heart attack.

Davis was born in Aurora, Missouri on August 4, 1942. Davis attended Southwest missouri State University in Springfield, where he majored in theatre and art. He received a Bachelor of Science in theatre at Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield. His college career would be interrupted by a stint in the U. S. Army. He served three years in Korea. Afterwards, he received a Masters in theatre at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Davis taught at that university for seven years before receiving a Phd there. Davis would later move to Vancouver, where he taught at the University of British Columbia.

It was while he was at the the University of British Columbia that he began acting. He made his television debut in 1982, guest starring on Joanie Loves Chachi. He appeared in The Journey of Natty Gann in 1985 and made appearances on various TV movies throughout 1986. In 1987 he left academia to pursue acting full time. Davis appeared in the movies Malone, Stakeout, and Watchers. He also guest starred on The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, MacGyver, Wiseguy, and 21 Jump Street. He was a regular on the cult TV show Twin Peaks, playing Major Garland Briggs.

Davis would spend the Nineties making a number of guest appearances on such shows as Highlander, Northern Exposure, The X-Files (as Scully's father), The Outer Limits, and Profit. He was a regular on the series Madison. He appeared in the films A League of Their Own, Cliffhanger, Needful Things, Hideaway, and The Fan. It was in 1998 that Davis assumed the role he would play the longest, that of Major General George Hammond on Stargate SG-1. In all, he would spend ten years on the show. In the naughts Davis would appear in the movie Seed, The Still Life, and Woodshop.

Davis was one of the best character actors of recent years. His speciality was authority figures, playing Major Briggs on Twin Peak, Scully's father Captain Scully on The X-Files, and General Hammond on Stargate SG-1. No one could be quite as convincing in a uniform. Although best known for playing authority figures, Davis was quite capable in any role he took. Indeed, in the movie Savage Island he played Keith Young, the patriarch of a family involved in a long running feud with the Savages, a family of hillbillies who lived up to their name. Davis was a very versatile actor and one of the most talented character actors to come down the pike in a while. It is sad that he died so soon.

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