Robert A. Davis
March 7, 1917
|Died||July 18, 1993 (aged 76)|
Davis Roberts (born Robert A. Davis, March 7, 1917 – July 18, 1993) was an American character actor whose career spanned five decades, from the late 1940s until just before his death in 1993. He started out making films in the 1940s and 1950s and expanded into television work in the following decades. Davis was known for his dignified portrayals which were often in contrast to prevailing stereotypical roles. He played the role of Dr. Caldwell in three episodes in the second and third seasons of the NBC-TV sitcom series Sanford and Son, and as Dr. Ozaba in the 1968 episode "The Empath" in the original Star Trek series.
He was active off-screen as well, serving several terms on the western advisory board of Actors' Equity Association. As one of the officers of Beverly Hills-Hollywood Branch of the NAACP he help present the first Image Awards in 1967.
|1947||The Long Night||Freddie|
|1949||Knock on Any Door||Jim 'Sunshine' Jackson||Uncredited|
|1949||The Great Dan Patch||Smiler||Uncredited|
|1950||In a Lonely Place||Flower Shop Employee||Uncredited|
|1950||No Way Out||Heckler at Riot Meeting||Uncredited|
|1951||The Lion Hunters||Lohu|
|1951||The Harlem Globetrotters||Frank||Uncredited|
|1952||Phone Call from a Stranger||Henry||Uncredited|
|1952||Red Ball Express||Pvt. Dave McCord|
|1953||Jungle Drums of Africa||Native Ambusher||Serial, [Ch.1]|
|1954||The Glenn Miller Story||Black Man||Uncredited|
|1958||God's Little Acre||Farm Hand with Hoe|
|1958||Murder by Contract||Hall of Records Clerk|
|1960||All the Fine Young Cannibals||Darl||Uncredited|
|1962||Sweet Bird of Youth||Fly||Uncredited|
|1964||The Killers||Maître D'|
|1964||Quick Before It Melts||Military Man|
|1967||Hotel||Dr. Elmo Adams|
|1969||Hook, Line & Sinker||Member - Board of Inquiry||Jerry Lewis comedy; uncredited|
|1970||Halls of Anger||Mr. Willis|
|1970||The Great White Hope||Pastor||Uncredited|
|1973||The Trial of the Catonsville Nine||Prosecutor|
|1974||Willie Dynamite||Judge #2|
|1976||From Noon till Three||Sam|
|1977||Billy Jack Goes to Washington||2nd Handwriting Expert|
|1981||Honky Tonk Freeway||James|
|1984||Chattanooga Choo Choo||Woodrow|
|1990||To Sleep with Anger||Okra Tate|
|1993||The Gifted||(final film role)|
- Heise, Kenan (29 Jul 1993). "Actor Davis Roberts, 76: Helped Break Stereotype". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 4 Jan 2016.
Davis Roberts, 76, a Hollywood actor from 1946 to 1989, helped redefine the African-American character actor, performing with dignity and professionalism in 120 movies and in a wide variety of roles.
- "Davis Roberts; Actor, 76". New York Times. New York, New York. 5 Aug 1993. Retrieved 4 Jan 2016.
Davis Roberts, who played a broad range of characters in dozens of television shows while championing black causes off screen, died on July 18 in Chicago.
- Folkart, Burt A. (4 Aug 1993). "Obituaries : Davis Roberts; Actor Fought Stereotypical Roles for Blacks". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 4 Jan 2016.
Despite an occasional comic appearance, Roberts' greatest acting strength lay in the distinguished attitude he brought to his characters.