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Bruce Davison

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Also Known As: Bruce Davidson Died:
Born: June 28, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor, director, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Bruce Davison is one of Hollywood's hardest-working "chameleons", having turned in dozens of outstanding performances in both lead and character roles on stage, screen and television. During his 30-plus-year career he has played many a villain and hero--tackling the roles of disturbed teenagers, crusading defense attorneys, romantic lovers and put-upon husbands. He has managed to avoid being typed, or when typed, the tag has not stuck long. Though some still identify him with the nerd who kissed the rodent in "Willard" (1971), others may remember him as Captain Wyler from NBC's "Hunter (1984-86), the sensitive caregiver in "Longtime Companion" (1990) or the senator who hates mutants in "X-Men" (2000). Davison has shown Hollywood he is an actor with a wide range, and the movie industry has rewarded him with challenging and diverse roles.

Bruce Davison is one of Hollywood's hardest-working "chameleons", having turned in dozens of outstanding performances in both lead and character roles on stage, screen and television. During his 30-plus-year career he has played many a villain and hero--tackling the roles of disturbed teenagers, crusading defense attorneys, romantic lovers and put-upon husbands. He has managed to avoid being typed, or when typed, the tag has not stuck long. Though some still identify him with the nerd who kissed the rodent in "Willard" (1971), others may remember him as Captain Wyler from NBC's "Hunter (1984-86), the sensitive caregiver in "Longtime Companion" (1990) or the senator who hates mutants in "X-Men" (2000). Davison has shown Hollywood he is an actor with a wide range, and the movie industry has rewarded him with challenging and diverse roles.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Bigfoot (2012)
2.
  Off Season (2001) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 108 Stitches (2014)
2.
 Stealing Roses (2014)
3.
 Persecuted (2014)
4.
5.
6.
 Lords of Salem (2013)
7.
 Saving Lincoln (2013)
8.
 Barlowe Mann (2013)
9.
 Bigfoot (2012)
10.
 Camp Hope (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Caught the acting bug while studying art at Penn State University
1967:
Broadway debut, Lincoln Center Repertory production of "Tiger at the Gates"
1969:
Feature acting debut, "Last Summer"
1971:
Made TV acting debut in an episode of the ABC series "Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law"
1971:
First leading role; played a rat-loving social misfit in "Willard"
1973:
Featured in episode of "Love, American Style"
1974:
Appeared as the grown-up Patrick in Lucille Ball's last film of "Mame"
1977:
Played a child molester in realistic prison drama, "Short Eyes"
1977:
Had small role in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
1980:
Starred on Broadway in "The Elephant Man"; succeeded original star Philip Anglim in the role of John Merrick
1983:
Played Tom, the authorial stand-in, in a Broadway revival of "The Glass Menagerie" with Jessica Tandy
1984:
Had leading role on TV in "V: The Series" (NBC)
1984:
Portrayed Captain Wyler on the NBC TV series "Hunter"
1986:
Played Felix, the journalist who succumbs to AIDS, in the L.A. premiere of Larry Kramer's play "The Normal Heart"
1987:
Appeared in the NBC miniseries "Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story"
1990:
Received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a gay man caring for his dying lover in "Longtime Companion"
:
Starred as George Henderson in the syndicated comedy series "Harry and the Hendersons"; directed a number of episodes
1993:
Acted in four films, including Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" and Fred Schepisi's "Six Degrees of Separation"
1996:
Portrayed Reverend Paris in the film adaptation of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"
1997:
Returned to the New York stage playing a man who commits incest with his niece in the Off-Broadway play "How I Learned to Drive"
1997:
Starred in the controversial Showtime movie "The Color of Justice"
1998:
Earned an Emmy nomination for his guest stint on "Touched By an Angel"
1998:
Played the father of a troubled teen in the film adaptation of the Stephen King novella "Apt Pupil", directed by Bryan Singer
1999:
Guest starred as an arrogant plastic surgeon in the season premiere of "Chicago Hope" (CBS)
2000:
Starred in the Dogma 95 production of "The King Is Alive", a drama about passengers who stage "King Lear" after their bus breaks down in the desert; premiered at Cannes
2000:
Reunited with Singer for the big-screen version of the comic-book adventure "X-Men"; played Senator Kelly, a politician who believed mutants should not be treated like people
:
Played recurring role on "The Practice" (ABC)
2001:
Appeared as Jessica Biel's father in the Freddie Prinze Jr romance "Summer Catch"
2001:
Portrayed yet another parent to a teen, this time a troubled young woman played by Kirsten Dunst in "crazy/beautiful"
2001:
Made directorial debut with the Showtime original "Off Season"; also starred
2004:
Cast as Dr. "Steg" Stegman, the arrogant chief of staff in Stephen King's medical drama "Kingdom Hospital"
2005:
Had a recurring role on the CBS drama series, "Close to Home"
2007:
Co-starred in "Breach," a thriller about FBI traitor Robert Hanssen played by Chris Cooper
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Pennsylvania State University: University Park , Pennsylvania -
Institute of Film and TV, New York University: New York , New York -

Notes

His official web site is www.brucedavison.com.

"I've been stigmatized by roles so many times over the course of my career. In 'Willard,' I kissed the rat, and that was the last living thing that I kissed on-screen for ten years." --Bruce Davison to Premiere, June 1990.

Bruce Davison told US (November 1993) magazine he wanted a part in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" so badly he was prepared to "read the phone book naked, upside down" during his audition.

Altman gave Davison a role without seeing him audtion for it.

" . . . I was in a public speaking class and I read something by Arthur Miller, actually, and it was a speech on what it means to be an actor. It said something like 'The rewards of being an actor do not come from the Oscars or other awards, but from the fact that one time in his life on a dark and empty stage an actor gave life to something. It was not himself, but everything he had ever felt or imagined. All the unsinkable heart song that the ordinary man may feel but never utter, he gave life to. And in doing so, somehow joins the ages.' And I thought that's what I would like to do . . ." --Bruce Davison to Patty Goldman in The Biz, December 27, 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jess Walton. Actor. Divorced.
wife:
Lisa Pelikan. Actor. Married in 1986; Pelikan filed for a divorce on March 24, 2003.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Clair W Davison. Architect, musician. Parents divorced when Davison was three.
mother:
Marian E Davison. Secretary. Parents divorced when Davison was three.
son:
Ethan Pelikan Davison. Born on April 5, 1996; mother, Lisa Pelikan.

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