Don S. Davis
Donald Sinclair Davis
August 4, 1942
Aurora, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||June 29, 2008 (aged 65)|
Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada
|Occupation(s)||Actor, stuntman, stunt coordinator, choreographer, painter, sculptor, soldier, professor|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1960s|
Donald Sinclair Davis (August 4, 1942 – June 29, 2008) was an American character actor best known for playing General 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 Bachelor of Science degree in theater and art from Southwest Missouri State College. He said that "during the Vietnam 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 (SIU); his thesis was "Design and Construction of Stage Settings for Black Comedy and The Two Executioners". He taught for several years before returning to SIUC to complete a Ph.D. degree in theatre; his dissertation was "The Evolution of Scenography in the Western Theater".
Davis stated that he landed the role of the eloquently spoken Major Briggs 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 to 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.
He was a member of the main cast of Stargate SG-1 during the first seven seasons of that television series, portraying General Hammond, commander of Stargate Command (SGC). He appeared in a recurring role during Seasons 8 to 10, cutting back his commitment due to health problems. He also played the character in one episode of the Stargate spin-off series Stargate Atlantis.
Later life and death
Davis died of a heart attack on June 29, 2008, at the age of 65. He had been suffering from heart disease and diabetes. At the time of his death, Davis was living in Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
The writers of Stargate Atlantis paid him homage by mentioning the death of his character George Hammond and naming a spaceship after him in the final episode of the show airing January 9, 2009. He was again honored in October 2009, with the appearance of the spaceship 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 General Hammond had died of a heart attack prior to the episode's events. His character on The X-Files, William Scully, had also died of a heart attack fourteen years earlier.
Davis married Ruby Fleming in 2003, by which time he had a son, Matt Davis, from a previous marriage.
Davis was also a visual artist, spending most of his free time painting or carving. He grew up painting, sculpting, and drawing, and 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 that he once had a job carving wooden cigar store Indians that were sold at Silver Dollar City.
- The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) — Railroad Brakeman
- Malone (1987) — Buddy
- Stakeout (1987) — Prison Gate Guard
- Watchers (1988) — Veterinarian
- Beyond the Stars (1989) — Phil Clawson
- Look Who's Talking (1989) — Dr. Fleischer
- Cadence (1990) — Haig (uncredited)
- Look Who's Talking Too (1990) — Dr. Fleischer
- Omen IV: The Awakening (1991, TV movie) — Jake Madison
- Chaindance (1991) — Sergeant
- Mystery Date (1991) — Doheny
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991, TV movie) — Rodeo announcer
- Hook (1991) — Dr. Fields
- Kuffs (1992) — Police gun instructor
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) — Maj. Garland Briggs (scenes deleted)
- A League of Their Own (1992) — Charlie Collins (Racine coach)
- Cliffhanger (1993) — Stuart
- Needful Things (1993) — Reverend Willie Rose
- Max (1994) — Earl Pomerance
- Hideaway (1995) — Dr. Martin
- The Fan (1996) — Stook
- Alaska (1996) — Sergeant Grazer
- Prisoner of Zenda, Inc. (1996, TV movie) — Colonel Zapf
- Volcano: Fire on the Mountain (1997, TV movie) — Mayor Bob Hart
- Dad's Week Off (1997, TV movie) — Hank
- Con Air (1997) — Man driving Volvo
- Suspicious River (2000) — Golf shirt man
- Best in Show (2000) — Mayflower Best in Show Judge Everett Bainbridge
- The 6th Day (2000) — Cardinal de la Jolla
- Deadly Little Secrets (2002) — The Chief
- G.I. Joe: Spy Troops — The movie (2003, TV movie) — Wild Bill (voice)
- Miracle (2004) — Bob Fleming
- Stargate: SG3000 (2004, Short) — Computer Representation of George Hammond (voice)
- Savage Island (2004) — Keith Young
- Meltdown (2004, TV movie) — NRC Carl Mansfield
- G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom (2004) — Wild Bill (voice)
- The Still Life (2006) — Mr. Fernot
- Seed (2006) — Davis
- Beneath (2007) — Joseph
- Beyond Loch Ness (2008, TV movie) — Neil Chapman
- Stargate: Continuum (2008) — Lt. Gen. George Hammond
- Vipers (2008, TV movie) — Dr. Silverton
- Far Cry (2008) — General Roderick
- The Uninvited (2009) — Mr. Henson
- Wyvern (2008, TV movie) — Colonel Travis Sherman (dedicated to Davis)
- Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods - Final Cut (2009) — Maj. Gen. George Hammond (dedicated to Davis)
- Woodshop (2009) — Principal Jamison
- Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014) — Major Garland Briggs
Partial television credits
- MacGyver (1985–1991) — stunt double for Dana Elcar
- 21 Jump Street (1987) — Principal Harris, and (1988) — Frank
- Booker (1989) — Sheriff
- L.A. Law (1990) - Judge Richard Bartke
- Twin Peaks (1990–1991) — Major Garland Briggs
- Columbo: A Bird in the Hand (1992) — Bertie
- Highlander: The Series (1993) — Palance
- The X-Files (1994) — Captain William Scully (2 episodes)
- Madison (1994—1996) — Mr. Winslow (7 episodes)
- Black Fox (1995 miniseries) — Sergeant
- The Outer Limits (1995) — General Callahan, Detective Wilson
- Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996) — Harold Taggart
- In Cold Blood (1996 miniseries)
- Viper (1996) — Lloyd
- Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007) — Major General/Lieutenant General George Hammond
- Atomic Train (1999 miniseries) — General Harlan Ford
- The Chris Isaak Show (2002) — Del
- Just Cause (2002) — Thornton
- The Twilight Zone (2003) — Dr. Tate
- Stargate Atlantis (2004) — Major General George Hammond
- Andromeda (2004) — Avineri
- NCIS (2004) — MTAC Control Officer
- The West Wing (2005) — Reverend Don Butler
- The Dead Zone (2005) — Senator Harlan Ellis (3 episodes)
- Psych (2006) - Mr. McCallum
- Supernatural (2007) — Trotter
- Flash Gordon (2007) — Mr. Mitchell
- Burn Up (2008 miniseries) — The Man
- Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) — Major Garland Briggs (archival footage)
- Skelton, Chad (June 30, 2008). "Actor Don S. Davis dies in Gibsons". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008.
- "Don S. Davis: 1942–2008". GateWorld. June 30, 2008. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009.
- "Don S. Davis Profile". IGN. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012.
- "Don S. Davis - 1948–2008". Zap2it. July 4, 2008. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.
- Biography Archived July 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine at DonSDavis.com
- Fulton, Kristine Anderson (August 28, 1992). "Hollywood comes home to traditional, down-home lifestyle". The Nevada Daily Mail. Nevada, MO. p. 1. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Don S. Davis". Sci Fi Channel. chat transcript. October 10, 2002. Archived from the original on August 11, 2003.
- Davis, Donald S. (1970). Design and Construction of Stage Settings for Black Comedy and The Two Executioners. Southern Illinois University, Department of Theatre. p. 146.
- "Theatre and Oral Interpretation: Abstracts of Doctoral Dissertations Published in "Dissertation Abstracts International," January through June 1984, (Vol. 44 Nos. 7 through 12)" (PDF). Education Resources Information Center. p. 5. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
- "Heritage Minute featuring Don S. Davis". Historica Canada.
- DeeKayP (January 29, 2009). "View the Final Works of Don S. Davis". Solutions Blog. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2023.
- "Stargate: Continuum on DVD July 29". GateWorld. April 4, 2008. Archived from the original on January 30, 2023. Retrieved October 27, 2023.