Davi performing in Long Island in August 2013
|Birth name||Robert John Davi|
|Born||June 26, 1954|
|Origin||Astoria, Queens, New York|
|Genres||traditional pop, Great American Songbook|
|Occupation(s)||Actor, singer, writer, director|
|Website||Davi Sings Sinatra|
Robert John Davi (born June 26, 1954) is an American actor, singer, writer, and director. Over the course of his acting career, Davi has performed in more than 130 films. He has played the roles of main villain and drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Profiler, as Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in Die Hard, the opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The Goonies, Hans Zarba in Son of the Pink Panther and Al Torres in Showgirls.
Classically trained as a singer, Davi launched his professional singing career in 2011. His first album, Davi Sings Sinatra -- On The Road To Romance, hit #6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice and vocal interpretations, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas, Nevada, six months after the record was released.
Davi was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, the son of Maria (née Rulli) and Sal Davi. His mother was an Italian American whose family came from Nusco and his father was a native of Torretta; Davi spoke Italian during his childhood. He attended Seton Hall, a Catholic high school in Patchogue, New York. He has two sisters, Yvonne Davi (deceased), and Michelle (Davi) Queal. He graduated from Hofstra University, the alma mater of fellow James Bond villain Christopher Walken. Davi was drawn to Hofstra because of the University's strong drama department as well as its unique reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater.
Davi made his motion picture debut in Contract On Cherry Street, in which he shared the screen with Frank Sinatra. He subsequently worked with Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benicio del Toro, James Franco, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, and Roberto Benigni, among others. He has appeared in movies including The Goonies, Die Hard, Showgirls, Son of the Pink Panther, and in the Bond film Licence to Kill (1989) as the villain Franz Sanchez, a South American drug lord and murderer.
On television, he starred as Commander Acastus Kolya on Stargate Atlantis, appeared in two-part episodes of Criminal Minds, and played Supervisory Special Agent Bailey Malone of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in 88 episodes of his own NBC series, Profiler. In 1989, Davi appeared as Mafia Albert Cerrico on the television series Wiseguy, in the 10 episode Mafia arc titled Garbage Wars. He also sang in the first installment of the arc, called Le Lacrime de Amore Part I.
In 2011, Davi appeared alongside Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken in the gangster movie Kill the Irishman. The film, in which Davi played Mafia hitman Ray Ferritto, is a biopic of Danny Greene, an Irish-American mob boss who warred with the Cleveland crime family during the 1970s. Released the same year, he was also in Game of Death with Wesley Snipes. He followed up these projects with crime thriller The Iceman (2012), co-starring alongside Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and Ray Liotta.
In 2014, Davi appeared as Goran Vata in The Expendables 3. In 2015, Davi appeared in a music video for Bob Dylan's recording of "The Night They Called It A Day", from Dylan's album Shadows In The Night, a selection of songs which had been recorded by Frank Sinatra. Rolling Stone suggested that Davi's role in the video may be a nod towards Davi's having made his acting debut alongside Sinatra in the crime film Contract on Cherry Street, and Davi's release of his own album of Sinatra covers.
In 2007, Davi made his directorial debut with The Dukes, a parable regarding the mid-2000 economic crisis and its impact. In addition to Davi, the film stars Chazz Palminteri and Peter Bogdanovich. The Dukes was selected for the premiere section at the Rome Film Festival, along with films by Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet, and Gavin Hood. Davi was the only first-time director in the premiere section. At the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, the film received awards for best first-time director and best screenplay. Later, The Dukes was invited to the Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival in France, among other festivals.
In high school, Davi was praised for his singing, and auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera after being awarded first place at the prestigious New York State School Music Association’s Solo Competition, where he sang Vincent Youman's Without A Song. He subsequently received classical training with top vocal teachers, Samuel Margolis and Danial Ferro of Juilliard and Tito Gobbi. However, Davi damaged his voice, and later explained that he was a baritone with the "heart of a tenor and had pushed too hard, too early."
Davi began to focus again on singing in 2011, and worked with "Voice Builder" Gary Catona as he prepared to record his first album. With a thirty-piece orchestra, he recorded the album at the legendary Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, where Frank Sinatra recorded on many occasions. The album, which featured new arrangements by composer Nic. tenBroek, was produced by Phil Ramone, engineered by Dan Wallin, and mixed by the legendary Al Schmitt. The album, Davi Sings Sinatra -- On The Road To Romance, was released October 24, 2011, and received significant attention from the media, garnering positive reviews. Jazztimes called Davi Sings Sinatra "uniformly impressive,"  and critic Don Heckman wrote in the Orange County Register that "there are, of course, dozens of Sinatra imitators and simulators. But what Davi does is a whole different matter. A tribute? Yes, indeed; all that and more." AllMusic noted that "Davi makes no attempt to copy Sinatra's vocal sound...Rather, he is his own singer." The album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz charts. Quincy Jones said: "I have never heard anyone come this close to Sinatra's sound – and still be himself. Many try, but Robert Davi has the voice, tone, the flavor and the swagger."
In December 2012, Davi appeared along with Roger Cicero in the French/German Arte TV program Durch die Nacht mit.... The episode was shot in the Little Italy area of New York City and featured conversation between Cicero and Davi and solos of Sinatra standards by both performers. In December 2013, Davi released a Christmas single, "Mistletoe and Holly," with all proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army.
In September 2013, Davi recorded a single by Nick Vallelonga called, "New York City Christmas", which was arranged by Chris Walden, performed by members the Chris Walden Big Band, and recorded and mixed at Capitol Records by Al Schmitt and Steve Genewick. It was released in November 2013.
Davi, a devout Roman Catholic, is an outspoken conservative and often speaks at Republican Party gatherings. He has been invited to comment on numerous political shows and backed John McCain during his presidential campaign. He narrated several film montages that aired during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Davi also spoke at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. He was a frequent guest on Fox News's late-night satire program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.
Davi's children are Sean Christian Davi (born 1981), with Jeri McBride, and Ariana Marie Davi (born April 3, 1990), Frances Davi (born 1992), and Isabella Davi and Nicholas Edward Davi (twins, born on January 11, 2001), with Christine Bolster.
Although he is frequently seen smoking cigarettes in films and on television, Davi is an avid cigar smoker.
Awards and honors
TV and filmography
|1977||Contract on Cherry Street||Mickey Sinardos, Greek hijacker||TV|
|1978||Charlie's Angels||Ritchie||TV Series|
|1979||And Your Name Is Jonah||Dickie||TV|
|From Here to Eternity||Guard||mini TV series|
|The Legend of the Golden Gun||William Quantrill||TV|
|1980||Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story||Hubbard||TV|
|1982||T. J. Hooker||Joseph "The Barber" Picartus/Tom Warfield||TV, 2 episodes|
|The A-Team||Boyle (episode "Sheriffs of Rivertown")|
|1985||The Goonies||Jake Fratelli|
|Hunter||Sonny Dunbar||TV series|
|1986||The Equalizer||Michael Riegert||TV series|
|Raw Deal||Max Keller|
|1988||Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami||Salim Ajami|
|Action Jackson||Tony Moretti|
|L.A. Law||Dominic Simonetti||TV series|
|Die Hard||FBI Special Agent Johnson|
|1989||Licence to Kill||Franz Sanchez|
|Wiseguy||Albert Cerrico||TV series|
|1990||Peacemaker||Det. Sgt. Frank Ramos|
|Deceptions||Jack 'Harley' Kessler|
|Maniac Cop 2||Det. Sean McKinney|
|Predator 2||Captain Phil Heinemann|
|1991||Legal Tender||Fix Cleary|
|White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd||Lucky Luciano|
|The Taking of Beverly Hills||Robert Masterson|
|1992||Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue||Sully|
|Center of the Web||Richard Morgan|
|Illicit Behavior||Lt. Matt Walker|
|Christopher Columbus: The Discovery||Martin Pinzon|
|1993||Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence||Det. Sean McKinney|
|Night Trap||Mike Turner|
|Son of the Pink Panther||Hans Zarba|
|FBI: The Untold Stories||Donnie Brasco||TV series|
|1994||No Contest||Sergeant Crane|
|The Dangerous||Billy Davalos|
|The November Men||Robert Davi|
|Cops and Robbersons||Osborn|
|1995||Cyber Vengeance||R.D. Crowley|
|VR.5||Simon Buchanan||TV series|
|Codename: Silencer||Eddie Cook|
|Delta of Venus||The Collector|
|The Zone||Rowdy Welles|
|1996||Absolute Aggression||R. D. Crowley|
|For Which He Stands||Carlito Escalara|
|An Occasional Hell||Trooper Larry Abbott|
|Profiler||Agent Bailey Malone||TV series|
|1997||The Beneficiary||Gil Potter|
|1998||The Bad Pack||McQue|
|1999||Batman Beyond||Dr. Mike Morgan||TV series|
|My Little Assassin||Frank Sturgis|
|The Pretender||Agent Bailey Malone||TV series|
|2002||The Sorcerer's Apprentice||Merlin/Milner|
|Verdict in Blood||Wade Waters|
|Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez|
|The 4th Tenor||Ierra|
|The Hot Chick||Stan, April's Dad|
|2003||One Last Ride||Father|
|2004||Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss||Ivan Nagy|
|Karen Sisco||Denton||TV series|
|Halo 2||Rtas 'Vadumee (SpecOps Leader)|
|Stargate: Atlantis||Commander Acastus Kolya||TV series|
|2005||Breaking Vegas||Narrator||TV series|
|In the Mix||Fish|
|Scarface: The World Is Yours||Alejandro "Alex" Sosa|
|2007||The Dukes||Danny (also: directorial debut)|
|Halo 3||Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadumee|
|2008||An American Carol||Aziz|
|Burnin' Up||Jonas Brothers||Music video|
|2010||Spring Break '83||Dean Whitter|
|Magic||Dr. David Ortero|
|One in the Gun||Vincent|
|Game of Death||Frank Smith|
|Kill the Irishman||Ray Ferritto|
|Swamp Shark||Sheriff Watson|
|2012||The Iceman||Leonard Marks|
|2013||A Long Way Off||Frank|
|Blood of Redemption||Hayden|
|2014||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Marvin Braxton|
|The Expendables 3||Goran Vata|
- Paul, Louis (2007). Tales from the Cult Film Trenches. McFarland & Company. p. 53. ISBN 9780786429943.
- Chutkow, Paul (Winter 96). "Playing the Heavy Actor Robert Davi has made a career of playing tough guys with a signature cigar". Cigar Aficionado. Check date values in:
- "Famed Film Villain Robert Davi Sings Sinatra". ABC News (Transcribed). December 4, 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Leach, Robin (February 9, 2012). "Spirit of Sinatra returns as Robert Davi fulfills a childhood dream". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- "Robert Davi sul palco di #TVOI" (in Igbo). thevoiceofitaly.rai.it. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Gil de Rubio, Dave (2010). "Doing It His Way". LongIslandPress. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- EW Staff (August 11, 2013). "21 Most Ruthless TV/Film Drug Lords". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Lawton, Adam (November 5, 2013). "‘License To Kill’ Villain Robert Davi Discusses His Role In ‘The Expendables 3′ And Reflect On ‘The Goonies’". Media Mikes. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Kreps, Daniel (March 2, 2015). "Watch Bob Dylan Navigate a Bloody Love Triangle in New Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Wolfe, Zachary (July 14, 2010). "License to trill: The reinvention of Robert Davi". Capitol New York. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Staff (December 2013). "Robert Davi’s new Christmas single "Mistletoe and Holly" to benefit The Salvation Army". New Frontier. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Sterling, Ellen (September 24, 2013). "No Overstatement: Singer-Actor-Writer-Director Robert Davi Is A Legend in the Making". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Truitt, Brian (October 27, 2011). "Robert Davi Sings Sinatra, Sincerely". USA Today. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Loudon, Christopher (October 24, 2011). "A Singer Turned Legend Turns Singer Again". Jazztimes. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Heckman, Don (October 21, 2013). "Don Heckman: Robert Davi sings Sinatra". Orange County Register. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Ruhlman, William (2011). "Davi Sings Sinatra". AllMusic.
- Berk, Dr. Nancy (December 5, 2013). "Showbiz Analysis with Robert Davi". Parade. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Vallelonga, Nick (July 2, 2013). "His Way; Robert Davi Hits a High Note with Sinatra Tribute Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/US/Robert-Davi-Sinatra-Tribute/2013/07/02/id/513135#ixzz2rFT1KHoz Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!". Newsmax. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Gilson, Dave. "Demon Sheep Ad Man Tells All". Mother Jones. Mother Jones. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Where are they now? Bond villains". Virgin Media. 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Robert Davi Backstage at the Republican National Convention on YouTube
- "Robert Davi on 'Red Eye'". Fox News. August 4, 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Alexander, Julia (June 15, 2013). "Four Inducted Into Little Italy's Italian Walk Of Fame". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 6 May 2014.