SHE HATE ME
As a playwright, screenwriter, director, producer, and actor during a career spanning over 50 years,
(Judge Buchanan) has been a staple of black theater with his wife, actor Ruby Dee. Both are longstanding political
activists who were highly visible during the height of the Civil Rights movement and continue to speak out at rallies for
progressive and humanitarian causes.
Davis delivered the moving eulogy at the funeral of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X (which he repeated for the extended
coda to Spike Lee's 1992 biopic).
Born in Cogdell, Georgia, Davis began his career as a writer and actor with the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem
in 1939. He most recently appeared in the Showtime movies Deacons for the Defense and Anne Rice's Feast of all
In 1946, Mr. Davis made his Broadway debut in Jeb and went on to perform in many Broadway productions,
including Anna Lucasta, The Wisteria Trees, Green Pastures, Jamaica, Ballad for Bimshire, The Zulu and the Zayada
and the stage version of I'm not Rappaport. In 1961, Mr. Davis wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed Purlie
Victorious. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1994.
After making his film debut in No Way Out in 1950 with Sidney Poitier, Mr. Davis appeared in such films as The
Cardinal, The Hill and The Scalphunters. In 1970, Mr. Davis directed his first feature film, Cotton Comes to Harlem.
He went on to direct four others: Gordon's War, Kongi's Harvest, Black Girl, and Countdown at Kusini, which he also
co-produced with his wife, Ruby Dee. Additional film roles included the animated feature Dinosaur, Dr. with Eddie
Murphy, Get on the Bus for Spike Lee, and I'm not Rappaport with Walter Matthau.
Mr. Davis' first appearance on the small screen was in the title role of the 1955 television production of The
Emperor Jones. He received Emmy Award nominations for his work in Teacher, Teacher, King and most recently,
Miss Evers' Boys. He has been a regular or recurring player in With Ossie & Ruby, B.L. Stryker, Evening Shade, and
The Client. Additional notable television credits include 12 Angry Men, Promised Land, Night Gallery, The Sheriff,
The Ernest Green Story, Roots: The Next Generation, Alex Haley's Queen, The Stand, The Defenders, and Bonanza.
Currently, Mr. Davis co-hosts the African Heritage Movie Network's Movie of the Month. His television writing
credits include episodes of EastSide/ West Side and the teleplay of For Us the Living, for which he received the Neil
Simon Jury Award.
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee have produced several television specials, including Today Is Ours, Martin Luther King:
The Dream & The Drum, and two segments of A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers. They also coproduced
the television series With Ossie & Ruby, which aired for three seasons. In 1980, Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee
founded their own production company, Emmalyn II Productions Company, Inc.
Mr. Davis has received many honors and citations, including the N.Y. Urban League Frederick Douglass Award, the
NAACP Image Award, and the National Medal of Arts.
He is the author of three children's books: Escape to Freedom (honored by the American Library Association and the
Jane Adams Children's Book Award); Langston and Just Like Martin. He and Ruby Dee recently marked their 50th
wedding anniversary with the publication of their joint autobiography, With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.
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