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Declare independence! Don't let them do that to you!!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Fare Thee Well, Mr. Ossie Davis 

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Actor, playwright, director. Born Raiford Chatman Davis, on December 18, 1917, in Cogdell, Georgia. After a short stint in the Army, Davis made his Broadway debut in 1946. His film debut, in 1950's No Way Out, starred Sydney Poitier and also featured his wife, Ruby Dee.

Some of his best known roles include The Joe Louis Story (1953) and Gone Are the Days (1963), a film that he adapted from his own play, Purlie Victorious.

In addition to a luminous career in entertainment, Davis has also been an eloquent and prominent figure for the civil rights movement. He was a featured speaker at the funerals of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Davis redelivered his eulogy for the latter in the 1992 film, Malcom X. In the early ‘80s, he made a memorable commercial for the American Negro College Fund, in which his line, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," became a well-known catchphrase.

His directorial efforts have included Black Girl (1972), Gordon's War (1973), and Countdown at Kusini (1976).

In 1948, he married actress Ruby Dee, with whom he cohosted the short-lived television series, Ossie and Ruby! from 1980-81. They have appeared together in numerous projects, including School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991), all directed by Spike Lee. In 1989, Davis and Dee were both voted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame. They have three children.
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Ossie Davis Filmography
A moment of silence for Da Mayor.
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