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Also Known As: Robert Davis Died: September 8, 1991
Born: November 6, 1949 Cause of Death: assisted suicide (Davis had been suffering from complications from AIDS)
Birth Place: Tallahassee, Florida, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Versatile male lead who made a compelling film debut as an American drug-smuggler incarcerated in a Turkish prison in Alan Parker's "Midnight Express" (1978). Davis's relatively sparse screen roles include off-beat gems such as American Olympic runner Jackson Scholz in "Chariots of Fire" (1981); the title character--a gay sailor--in Fassbinder's "Querelle" (1982); and the eccentric pilot in Percy Adlon's "Rosalie Goes Shopping" (1989). A risk-taking stage actor, Davis won acclaim as Ned Weeks, alter ego of playwright and Gay Men's Health Crisis founder Larry Kramer, in Kramer's harrowing AIDS drama "The Normal Heart" (1985). He also starred in Steven Berkoff's avant-garde adaptation of Kafka's "Metamorphosis" at the Mark Taper Forum. Davis, who had been suffering with complications from AIDS, reportedly committed suicide at age 41.

Versatile male lead who made a compelling film debut as an American drug-smuggler incarcerated in a Turkish prison in Alan Parker's "Midnight Express" (1978). Davis's relatively sparse screen roles include off-beat gems such as American Olympic runner Jackson Scholz in "Chariots of Fire" (1981); the title character--a gay sailor--in Fassbinder's "Querelle" (1982); and the eccentric pilot in Percy Adlon's "Rosalie Goes Shopping" (1989). A risk-taking stage actor, Davis won acclaim as Ned Weeks, alter ego of playwright and Gay Men's Health Crisis founder Larry Kramer, in Kramer's harrowing AIDS drama "The Normal Heart" (1985). He also starred in Steven Berkoff's avant-garde adaptation of Kafka's "Metamorphosis" at the Mark Taper Forum. Davis, who had been suffering with complications from AIDS, reportedly committed suicide at age 41.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Horton Foote's The Habitation of Dragons (1992) George Tolliver
2.
 The Player (1992) Himself
3.
 Child Of Darkness, Child Of Light (1991) Dr Phinney
4.
 Hangfire (1991) Sheriff Ike Slayton
5.
 Unspeakable Acts (1990) Dr Joseph Braga
6.
 Plot to Kill Hitler, The (1990) Colonel Claus Von Stauffenberg
7.
 Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989) Ray Greenspace
8.
 Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, The (1988) Lieutenant Commander Phillip Francis Queeg
9.
 When the Time Comes (1987) Dean Mccurdy
10.
 Heart (1987) Eddie Brennen
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Won music talent contest at age 17
:
Acted in Atlanta theater before moving to New York
:
Changed name from Robert to Brad when he found there already was an Equity actor with his name
:
New York stage debut in "Crystal and Fox"
1970:
TV movie debut in "Sole Survivor"
1974:
Appeared on TV soap "How to Survive a Marriage" for ten months
1978:
Film acting debut in "Midnight Express"
1981:
Joined Alcoholics Anonymous and gave up drug use
1984:
Played an AIDS activist in off-Broadway play, "The Normal Heart"
1985:
Starred in the title role in the mini-series "Robert Kennedy and His Times"
1985:
Tested HIV-positive when he donated blood to a hospital
1991:
Appeared in last role in cable TV drama, "A Habitation of Dragons"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York -

Notes

"It does not detract from Davis' talent to note that the roles he played had an odd resonance in his life. Nevertheless the impresssion he gave was of a thoughtful, generous person, without the edge his drug experience or his illness might have given him.

He seemed to specialize in playing brooding hotheads--such a role in an early '70s play called "Naomi Court" brought him to Hollywood's attention. But Davis himself had a vulnerability, a solicitude for the concerns of the playwright and director not typical of actors."--Howard Kissel in an appreciation of Davis's career (NEW YORK POST, September 12, 1991)

"I make my money in an industry that professes to care very much about he fight against AIDS--that gives umpteen benefits and charity affairs with proceeds going to research and care. 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."--Brad Davis (excerpted from a proposal for a book he planned to write on his experience of living with AIDS for six years; quoted in LOS ANGELES TIMES, September 11, 1991)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Susan Bluestein. Casting director. Born in 1946; met in 1971 when she was a secretary for his new agent Stark Hasseltine married in 1976; later won an Emmy.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Eugene Davis.
mother:
Annie Davis.
brother:
Gene Davis.
daughter:
Alexandra Davis. Born in 1983.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"After Midnight: The Life and Death of Brad Davis" Pocket Books

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