Don S. Davis

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For other persons, see Don Davis (disambiguation).
Don S. Davis
Don S. Davis DF-SD-03-14217.jpg
Don S. Davis in December 2001.
Born Don Sinclair Davis
(1942-08-04)August 4, 1942
Aurora, Missouri, U.S.
Died June 29, 2008(2008-06-29) (aged 65)
Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada
Cause of death Heart attack
Nationality American
Occupation Actor, painter, soldier
Years active 1981–2008

Donald Sinclair Davis, PhD (August 4, 1942 – June 29, 2008)[1][2] was an American character actor[3][4] best known for playing General George S. Hammond in the television series Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007),[1] and earlier for playing Major Garland Briggs on the television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991). He was also a theater professor,[1] painter[1][4] and United States Army captain.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Davis was born and raised in Aurora, Missouri.[5][6] He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in theater and art from Southwest Missouri State College.[5] 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."[7] 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."[7]

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".[8] He taught for several years before returning to SIU to complete a Ph.D. in Theatre; his dissertation was The Evolution of Scenography in the Western Theater.[citation needed]

He began working in the film industry in the 1980s, while teaching at the University of British Columbia.[1] In 1987 he stopped teaching in order to pursue acting full-time.[1]


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."[7]

In the TV show MacGyver, Davis was the stunt/photography double for Dana Elcar.[6] 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.[9] He also played the role of the Racine Belles' manager in the movie A League of Their Own.[6] 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 George Hammond (Stargate), 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[edit]

Davis, who was living in Gibsons, Canada, died on June 29, 2008, of a heart attack.[1][2] His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.[citation needed]

The writers of Stargate Atlantis paid him homage by mentioning the death of his character 'George Hammond' in the same manner, and naming a spaceship after the character, 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 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 Gen. Hammond had died of a heart attack.

Personal life[edit]

Davis married Ruby Fleming in 2003, by which time he had a son from a previous marriage.[1] 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 that he once had a job carving wooden cigar store Indians that were sold at Silver Dollar City. He also said his PhD is in "dramatic theory and criticism."



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Skelton, Chad (2008-06-30). "Actor Don S. Davis dies in Gibsons". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c "Don S. Davis: 1942–2008". GateWorld. 2008-06-30. 
  3. ^ "Don S. Davis Profile". IGN. 
  4. ^ a b "Don S. Davis - 1948–2008". Zap2it. 2008-07-04. 
  5. ^ a b Biography Archived July 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. at
  6. ^ a b c 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. 
  7. ^ a b c "Don S. Davis". Sci Fi Channel. chat transcript. October 10, 2002. Archived from the original on August 11, 2003. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Heritage Minute featuring Don S. Davis". Historica Canada. 

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