Ossie Davis



  • Birth Name: Raiford Chatman Davis
  • Birth Place: Cogdell, GA
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 12/18/1917, Sagittarius
  • Date of Death: 02/04/2005
  • Profession: Actor; playwright; activist
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Ossie Davis Fast Facts:
  • Named after his paternal grandfather. Was nicknamed R.C., but a misunderstanding by a courthouse clerk got him the moniker Ossie.
  • First appeared on Broadway in the 1946 production of Jeb, where he met his future wife, Ruby Dee.
  • In 1961, wrote the play Purlie Victorious: A Comedy in Three Acts. It was made into a movie in 1963, with him as the lead actor, and reworked yet again in 1970 for the Broadway musical Purlie.   
  • Helped organize the civil rights movement's 1963 March on Washington.
  • Delivered the eulogy at Malcolm X's funeral in 1965.
  • Howard University gave him an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 1973.
  • Authored several books, including Just Like Martin in 1992, and With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together, with his wife, in 1998.
  • Inducted into the NAACP's Hall of Fame in 1989.
  • With his wife, received the National Medal of Arts Lifetime Honors in 1995; a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2000; and Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. 
  • Often acted alongside his wife.
  • Ossie Davis Relationships:
  • Nora Davis Day - Daughter
  • Laura Davis - Mother
  • Ruby Dee - Wife
  • Guy Davis - Son
  • Hasna Muhammad - Daughter
  • Kince Charles Davis - Father
  • William Davis - Brother
  • Ossie Davis Awards:
  • 2005 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1969 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 1997 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special - Nominee
  • 2006 Grammy: Best Spoken Word Album - Winner
  • 1969 Emmy: Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - Nominee
  • 1970 Tony: Musical - Nominee
  • 1978 Emmy: Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1958 Tony: Actor, Supporting or Featured (Musical) - Nominee
  • 2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award - Winner
  • College:
  • Attended Howard University, Washington, DC; attended Columbia University, New York, NY


An Evening with Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee DVD
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