Don S. Davis
|Don S. Davis|
Don S. 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||Heart attack|
|Occupation||Actor, painter, soldier|
Don Sinclair Davis, PhD (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 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 (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 SIU to complete a Ph.D. in Theatre; his dissertation was "The Evolution of Scenography in the Western Theater".
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 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
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.
Davis married Ruby Fleming in 2003, by which time he had a son, Matt Davis from a previous marriage. He was given a GMC Envoy as a gift from the producers of Stargate SG-1 which his son still drives to this day. 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."
- The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)) — Railroad Brakeman
- MacGyver* (1987) Cement Truck Driver S.3 Ep.10
(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
- Mystery Date (1991) — Doheny
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991 TV movie) — Rodeo announcer
- Hook (1991) — Dr. Fields
- A League of Their Own (1992) — Charlie Collins (Racine coach)
- Cliffhanger (1993) — Stuart
- Needful Things (film) (1993) — Reverend Willie Rose
- The Fan (1996) — Stook
- Alaska (1996) — Sergeant Grazer
- Prisoner of Zenda, Inc. (1996) — Colonel Zapf
- Dad's Week Off (1997 TV movie) — Hank
- Con Air (1997) — Man driving Volvo hit by falling body from plane
- 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
- 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)
- Meltdown (2004) — NRC Carl Mansfield
- G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom (2004) — Wild Bill (voice)
- Seed (2006) — Davis
- Beneath (2007) — Joseph
- Beyond Loch Ness (2008) — 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 (2010) — Principal Jamison
- Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014) — Major Garland Briggs
Partial television credits
- Joanie Loves Chachi (1982) — Benny
- MacGyver (1985–1991) — stunt double for Dana Elcar
- 21 Jump Street (1987) - Principal Harris, and (1988) - Frank
- Booker (1989) - Sheriff
- 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
- 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 (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. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12.
- "Don S. Davis Profile". IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18.
- "Don S. Davis - 1948–2008". Zap2it. 2008-07-04. Archived from the original on 2008-07-06.
- 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.
- "Heritage Minute featuring Don S. Davis". Historica Canada.