Don S. Davis
|Don S. Davis|
Davis in December 2001
|Born||Don Sinclair Davis
August 4, 1942
Aurora, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||June 29, 2008
Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada
Cause of death
|Occupation||Actor, painter, soldier|
Don Sinclair Davis, PhD (August 4, 1942 – June 29, 2008) was an American character actor best known for playing General George S. Hammond in the television series Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007), and earlier for playing Major Garland Briggs on the television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991). He was also a theater professor, painter and United States Army captain.
Early life and education
Davis was born and raised in Aurora, Missouri. He earned a B.Sc. degree in theater and art from Southwest Missouri State College. He said that "during the Viet Nam era" he "was with the 7th Infantry in Korea" and at another point was "a personnel and administration officer; I ran records branches." He was a captain at Fort Leonard Wood by the time he left the U.S. Army, "and worked with General Officers, so I've been able to use that in Hammond and other characters."
In 1970 he received a Master's Degree in Theatre from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a thesis entitled Design and Construction of Stage Settings for Black Comedy and The Two Executioners. He taught for several years before returning to SIU to complete a Ph.D. in Theatre, with a dissertation entitled The Evolution of Scenography in the Western Theater. He began working in the film industry in the 1980s, while teaching at the University of British Columbia. In 1987 he stopped teaching in order to pursue acting full-time.
He got the role of the eloquently spoken Major Briggs, he said, when "I was living in Vancouver and doing local work. But because of my accent in the '80s I couldn't play a Canadian in commercials. So someone suggested that I get an agent in Seattle. I did and was able to get commercial work and acting jobs there. I had a good resume. So when they were casting the Twin Peaks pilot my agent sent me out of the audition. I met [series creator] David [Lynch] and didn't actually read for him — we just visited. ... David liked me and started writing for me. He liked the chemistry I had with other players. I did three days on the pilot and then went on to the series. That was the luckiest break I could have had. There are at least a dozen people from that show who are lifelong friends because of that show. It was a life-changing experience."
In the TV show MacGyver, Davis was the stunt/photography double for Dana Elcar. He was often mistaken for Elcar, and vice-versa. Davis did appear in two episodes of MacGyver, as a different character each time. His first appearance was as a cement truck driver in the episode "Blow Out", and his second appearance was as the poacher Wyatt Porter in "The Endangered". He also played Dana Scully's father in the series The X-Files. Canadian audiences may also be familiar with Davis thanks to his appearance in one of the famous Heritage Minutes, in which he played an arrogant American gold prospector who pulls a gun on Mountie Sam Steele. He also played the role of the Racine Belles' manager in the movie A League of Their Own. He also had a guest-starring role in the pilot episode of the comedy-drama television series Psych, playing the character of Mr. McCallum.
Later life and death
Davis, who was living in Gibsons, Canada, died on June 29, 2008, of a heart attack. The writers of Stargate Atlantis paid him homage by mentioning the death of his character in the same manner, and naming a starship after him, in the final episode of Stargate: Atlantis, which aired on January 9, 2009. He was again honored in October 2009, with the appearance of the starship Hammond in the pilot episode of Stargate Universe. Coincidentally, in episode 16 of season 4 of SG-1, "2010" (an episode set in the future which originally aired in January 2001), it is stated that Gen. Hammond had died of a heart attack. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
Davis married Ruby Fleming in 2003, by which time he had a son from a previous marriage. He was also a visual artist, spending most of his free time painting or carving. Davis grew up painting, sculpting and drawing. He continued to pursue these crafts his entire life, supplementing his income with design commissions and art sales. On the DVD commentary track for Stargate SG-1 season 6 episode 17 ("Disclosure"), Davis said he once worked carving wooden cigar store Indians that were sold at Silver Dollar City. He also said his PhD is in "dramatic theory and criticism."
- Woodshop (2010) — Principal Jamison
- Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods - Final Cut (2009) — Maj. Gen. George Hammond (dedicated to Davis)
- The Uninvited (2009)
- Wyvern (2008) as the Colonel (dedicated to Davis)
- Burn Up (2008)
- Vipers (2008) — Dr. Silverton
- Beyond Loch Ness (2008) — Neil Chapman
- Far Cry (2008) — General Roderick
- Stargate: Continuum (2008) — Lt. Gen. George Hammond
- The Unquiet (2008) — Bud Rollins
- Flash Gordon (TV series) (2007) — Mr. Mitchell
- Supernatural (2007) — Trotter
- Beneath (2007) — Joseph
- Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007) — Brig. Gen/Maj. Gen./Lt. Gen. George Hammond
- Psych (2006)
- The West Wing — Reverend Don Butler
- G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom (2004) — Wild Bill (voice)
- Meltdown (2004) — NRC Carl Mansfield
- Miracle (2004) — Bob Fleming
- NCIS (2004) — MTAC Control Officer
- Andromeda (2004) — Avineri
- Stargate Atlantis (2004) — Maj. Gen. George Hammond
- Savage Island (2003) — Keith Young
- G.I. Joe: Spy Troops — The Movie (2003) — Wild Bill (voice)
- The Twilight Zone (2003) — Dr. Tate
- The Chris Isaak Show (2002) — Del
- Just Cause (2002) — Thornton
- Deadly Little Secrets (2001) — The Chief
- Hostage Negotiator (2001) — Alexander Daniels
- The 6th Day (2000) — Cardinal de la Jolla
- Best in Show (2000) — Mayflower Best in Show Judge Everett Bainbridge
- Suspicious River (2000) — Golf shirt man
- Atomic Train (1999) — General Harlan Ford
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1998) — Harbor Dispatcher (uncredited)
- Con Air (1997) — Man driving Volvo hit by falling body from plane
- Dad's Week Off (1997) — Hank
- Viper (1996) — Lloyd
- Prisoner of Zenda, Inc. (1996) — Colonel Zapf
- The Fan (1996) — Stook
- Alaska (1996) — Sergeant Grazer
- Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996) — Harold Taggart
- In Cold Blood (TV miniseries) (1996)
- The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky (1995) — Mr. Smith
- The Outer Limits (1995) — Army General
- The Outer Limits (1995) — Detective
- The X-Files (1994) — Captain William Scully (1995 "Black Fox" as sergeant)
- Needful Things (film) (1993) — Reverend Willie Rose
- Cliffhanger (1993) — Stuart
- Highlander: The Series (1993) — Palance
- Columbo: A Bird in the Hand (1992) — Bertie
- A League of Their Own (1992) — Charlie Collins (Racine coach)
- Hook (1991) — Dr. Fields
- Mystery Date (1991) - Doheny
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) — Rodeo announcer
- Omen IV: The Awakening (1991) — Jake Madison
- Look Who's Talking Too (1990) — Dr. Fleischer
- Twin Peaks (1990–1991) — Major Garland Briggs
- Cadence (1990) — Haig
- Look Who's Talking (1989) — Dr. Fleischer
- 21 Jump Street (1988) - Frank
- Stakeout (1987) — Prison Gate Guard
- 21 Jump Street (1987) - Principal Harris
- The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) - Railroad Brakeman
- MacGyver (1985–1991) — Stunt Double for Dana Elcar
- Joanie Loves Chachi (1982) — Benny
- Skelton, Chad (2008-06-30). "Actor Don S. Davis dies in Gibsons". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008.
- "Don S. Davis: 1942–2008". GateWorld. 2008-06-30.
- "Don S. Davis Profile". IGN.
- "Don S. Davis - 1948–2008". Zap2it. 2008-07-04.
- Don Davis Biography
- "Don S. Davis". (chat transcript), Sci Fi Channel. October 10, 2002. Archived from the original on August 11, 2003.
- Donald S. Davis (1970). Design and Construction of Stage Settings for Black Comedy and The Two Executioners. Southern Illinois University, Department of Theatre. p. 146.
- "Heritage Minute featuring Don S. Davis". youtube.com.