Clifton Davis

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Clifton Davis
Clifton Davis in 1998.jpg
Davis in 1998
Clifton Duncan Davis

(1945-10-04) October 4, 1945 (age 76)
OccupationActor, singer, songwriter, minister
Years active1971–present
Known forThat's My Mama, Amen
  • Ann Taylor
    (m. 1981⁠–⁠1991)
  • Monica Durant
    (m. 2000)

Clifton Duncan Davis (born October 4, 1945) is an American actor, singer, songwriter, minister, and author.

Davis wrote The Jackson 5's No. 2 hit "Never Can Say Goodbye" in 1971. He appeared on Broadway in the musicals Two Gentlemen of Verona and Aladdin. Davis starred in the television shows That's My Mama, Amen, Madam Secretary, and others. He has hosted the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, Gospel Superfest and Lifestyle Magazine. Davis has appeared on the game shows Match Game and Pyramid and appeared in many movies.

Davis is a minister of a Baptist church and has also operated an interdenominational ministry for many years. He has been a guest on the Trinity Broadcasting Network many times. Davis wrote "A Mason-Dixon Memory," one of the chapters in the book Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, about the racism which he experienced while growing up.[1]

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Thelma van Putten Langhorn, a nurse, and Toussaint L'Ouverture Davis, a Seventh-day Adventist minister. He was raised in Mastic, New York, and he is a graduate of Pine Forge Academy a Black boarding school operated by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Davis holds a BA in Theology from Oakwood University and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University.[2]


Davis in a club

Before becoming a successful actor Davis was a songwriter who wrote The Jackson 5's No. 2 hit "Never Can Say Goodbye." He appeared on Broadway as Valentine in Galt MacDermot and John Guare's musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, based on the Shakespeare comedy of that name.[3][4] He starred as barber Clifton Curtis in the mid-1970s television show That's My Mama with Theresa Merritt, Theodore Wilson, and Ted Lange.[5]

Davis' co-starred with singer and Broadway performer Melba Moore on her musical variety television show. Later he made a guest appearance on the third episode of the first season of The Bobby Vinton Show in September 1975, singing "I've Got the Music in Me" and "Never Can Say Goodbye." He sang the Polish lyrics with Vinton to the show's theme song, titled "My Melody of Love".

A triple heart bypass survivor, Davis participated in the "Superstars" celebrity TV sports competitions of the 1970s as well as made several appearances as one of the celebrity panelists on the game show Match Game. He appeared in the film Scott Joplin, in 1977. Davis made numerous appearances on several incarnations of Pyramid from the early 1970s to the early 1990s.

From 1986 to 1991, Davis co-starred with Sherman Hemsley and Anna Maria Horsford as the Reverend Ruben Gregory in the sitcom Amen, which ran for five seasons. Davis released one acclaimed studio recording in 1991 on Benson Records titled Say Amen. He also played the mayor of Miami in the 1999 film Any Given Sunday. Davis starred in Toronto and on Broadway in Aladdin, playing the Sultan of Agrabah.[6]


From 1987 to 1989, he was an Associate Pastor of the Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern California. For the last twenty-five years, Davis has been an active member of Youthville, USA a children's services organization. He served as the co-founder and co-pastor of the Welcome Christian Center in Huntington Beach, California. Davis is a licensed minister at St. Luke Baptist Church, New York, New York. He has had an interdenominational ministry for over 30 years. Davis has served as its National Spokesperson and Advisory Board Chairman.[7] He is the emcee and host of The Most Soulful Sound, an annual gospel choir competition in Raleigh, North Carolina. Davis also hosts an annual celebrity golf tournament in Elizabeth City State University, where he served as its vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement. Since the end of 2005, Davis has held the position of executive director for Welcome America, a non-profit organization located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which hosts the largest Fourth of July celebration in the nation each year. He is a frequent guest and host on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Davis also hosted the TV show Gospel Superfest from 2000 to 2008, syndicated by United Television.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
1972 Together for Days Gus
1974 Lost in the Stars Absalom
1994 Heart of Stone (film) Richard Polite
1999 Any Given Sunday Mayor Tyrone Smalls
2001 Kingdom Come Charles Winslow
2001 Max Keeble's Big Move Supt. Bobby 'Crazy Legs' Knebworth
2001 The Painting Thomas Ayers
2004 Halloweentown High Principal Phil Flannagan
2006 The Engagement: My Phamily BBQ 2 Uncle Joe
2007 Cover D.A. Simmons
2011 David E. Talbert's What My Husband Doesn't Know Franklin
2013 God's Amazing Grace... Is Just A Prayer Away Wilbert Richardson
2016 Prayer Never Fails Michael Brown


Year Title Role Notes
1971 A World Apart Matt Hampton 1 episode
1972 The Melba Moore-Clifton Davis Show Co-host Series
1973 Love Story James Monroe Episode "A Glow of Dying Embers"
1973–1977 Police Story Mark Randolph
Ed Webber
"The Ho Chi Minh Trail"
"The Malflores"
1974–1975 That's My Mama Clifton Curtis Main role (39 episodes)
1977 Scott Joplin Louis Chauvin TV Movie
1977 Superdome P.K. Jackson TV Movie
1977 Little Ladies of the Night Comfort TV Movie
1978 Vega$ Leon Hazlett Episode: "The Eleventh Event"
1978 Cindy Captain Joe Prince TV Movie
1980 The Love Boat Mr. Reeves Episode: "Invisible Maniac"
1980 The Littlest Hobo Phil McLean Episode: "Licence to Steal"
1980 The Night the City Screamed Arnold Clements TV Movie
1981 Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige Cool Papa Bell TV Movie
1986–1991 Amen Reverend Reuben Gregory Main role (110 episodes)
1989 Dream Date Bill Fairview TV Movie
1990–1994 Stellar Gospel Music Awards Co-host Specials
1993 The John Larroquette Show Jada Sweet Episode: "Pros and Cons"
1996 The Jamie Foxx Show Charles Episode: "Seems Like Old Times"
1997 Living Single Harrison Cushmore Episode: "Mother Inferior"
1997 Sparks Pastor Alexander Episode: "It's the Gospel"
1997 Malcolm & Eddie Leonard Larson Episode: "Club Story"
1997 Party of Five Martin Wilcox Episode: "Point of No Return"
1997 Grace Under Fire Dr. Swanson Episode: "Sam's Dad"
1997 The Sentinel President Lemec Episode: "Fool Me Twice"
1997 The Gregory Hines Show Pauley's Father Episode: "Three's Not Company"
1998 Any Day Now Councilman Lyle Hammond Episode: "No Comment"
1999 In the House Ted Miller 2 episodes
2000 City of Angels Dr. Langston Ellis Episode: "Bride and Prejudice"
2000–2008 Gospel Superfest Host
2001 Lifestyle Magazine Host Series
2002 American Dreams Alvin Lewis Episode: "The Home Front"
2004 Half & Half Pastor David Adams Episode: "The Big Practice What You Preach Episode"
2012 Political Animals Reporter Miniseries; episode: "Pilot"
2012 Mr. Box Office Judge Episode: "Pilot"
2013 The First Family Clayton Episode: "The First Triangle"
2015–2019 Madam Secretary Ephraim Ware, Director of National Intelligence Recurring role
2017 Iron Fist Lawrence Wilkins Recurring role
2017 The Good Fight Anthony Spiegel Episode: "Not So Grand Jury"
2018 New Amsterdam Pierre Pampil Episode: "Rituals"
2018 Blue Bloods Inspector Azoulay Episode: "Mind Games"
2019 Godfather of Harlem Elijah Muhammad TBA


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2010-10-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Two Gentlemen of Verona Broadway @ St. James Theatre - Tickets and Discounts - Playbill". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mansion (Two Gentlemen Of Verona/1971 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  4. ^ baydog (December 17, 2006). "Ted Lange And Clifton Davis". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  5. ^ "Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed Will Co-Star in Disney's Aladdin; Complete Cast Announced". Playbill. September 16, 2013. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Bio". Archived from the original on 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2018-11-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]