Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

Ossie Davis

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

Ossie Davis (December 18, 1917 – February 4, 2005) was an American film actor, director, poet, playwright, writer, and social activist.

Davis was born Raiford Chatman Davis in Cogdell, Clinch County, Georgia. The name Ossie came from a county clerk who misheard his mother’s pronunciation of his initials “R.C.” when he was born.[1] Following the wishes of his parents, he attended Howard University but dropped out in 1939 to pursue his acting career in New York; he later attended Columbia University School of General Studies. His acting career, which spanned seven decades, began in 1939 with the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem. He made his film debut in 1950 in the Sidney Poitier film No Way Out.

Career

Davis experienced many of the same struggles that most African American actors of his generation underwent; he wanted to act but he did not want to play stereotypical subservient roles, such as a butler, that was the standard for black actors of his generation. Instead, he tried to follow the example of Sidney Poitier and play more distinguished characters. When he found it necessary to play a Pullman porter or a butler, he tried to inject the role with a certain degree of dignity.

In addition to acting, Davis, along with Melvin Van Peebles, and Gordon Parks was one of the notable African American directors of his generation. Along with Bill Cosby and Poitier, Davis was one of a handful of African American actors able to find commercial success while avoiding stereotypical roles prior to 1970. However, Davis never had the tremendous commercial or critical success that Cosby and Poitier enjoyed.

Listening Trend

446listeners all time
1,061scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Top Listeners