Bruce Davison Biography

Birthday: 1946-06-28
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Wiki Biography: With his blond, clean-cut, Ivy League handsomeness and ready-whipped smile reminiscent of Kennedyesque times, actor Bruce Davison fits the prototype of today's more current crop of fresh-faced, likeable blonds such as Brian Kerwin and Aaron Eckhart. While it proved difficult at times for the actor to get past those perfect features and find meatier roles, his talent certainly overcame the "handicap". Extremely winning and versatile, the award-worthy actor, now enjoying an over four decade career, has included everything from Shakespeare to Seinfeld. He has also served as a writer, producer and director on an infrequent basis. Born on June 28, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvanis, the son of Clair, an architect and musician, and Marian (Holman) Davison, a secretary, Bruce's parents divorced when he was just three. He developed a burgeoning interest in acting while majoring in art at Penn State and after accompanying a friend to a college theater audition. Making his professional stage debut in 1966 as Jonathan in "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Bad" at the Pennsylvania Festival Theatre, he had made it to Broadway within just a couple of years (1968) in the role of Troilus in "Tiger at the Gates" at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. The year after that he was seen off-Broadway in "A Home Away from Home" and appeared at the Lincoln Center in the cast of "King Lear". Success in the movies came immediately for the perennially youthful-looking actor after he and a trio of up-and-coming talents (Barbara Hershey [then known as Barbara Seagull], Richard Thomas and Catherine Burns) starred together in the poignant but disturbing coming-of-age film Last Summer (1969). From this he was awarded a starring role opposite Kim Darby in The Strawberry Statement (1970), an offbeat social commentary about 60s college radicalism, and in the cult horror flick Willard (1971) in which he bonded notoriously with a herd of rats. Moving further into the 70s decade, his film load did not increase significantly as expected and the ones he did appear in were no great shakes. With the exception of his co-starring role alongside Burt Lancaster in the well-made cavalry item Ulzana's Raid (1972) and the powerful low-budget Short Eyes (1977) in which he played a child molester, Bruce was surprisingly ill-used or underused. Insignificant as the elder Patrick Dennis in the inferior Lucille Ball musical film version of Mame (1974), he was just as overlooked in such movies as The Jerusalem File (1972), Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), Grand Jury (1976) and Brass Target (1978). Bruce wisely looked elsewhere for rewarding work and found it on the stage and on the smaller screen. Earning strong theatrical roles in "The Skin of Our Teeth," "The Little Foxes" and "A Life in the Theatre," he won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for his work in "Streamers" in 1977. On TV, he scored in mini-movie productions of "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1978), Deadman's Curve (1978) (TV) (portraying Dean Torrence of the surf-era pop duo Jan and Dean) and, most of all, Summer of My German Soldier (1978) (TV) co-starring Kristy McNichol as a German prisoner of war in the American South who falls for a lonely Jewish-American girl. In 1972 Bruce married actress Jess Walton who appeared briefly as a college student in The Strawberry Statement (1970) and later became a daytime soap opera fixture. The marriage was quickly annulled the following year. The 1980s was also dominated by strong theater performances. Bruce took over the role of the severely deformed John Merrick as "The Elephant Man" on Broadway; portrayed Clarence in "Richard III" at the New York Shakespeare Festival; was directed by Henry Fonda in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial"; played a moving Tom Wingfield opposite Jessica Tandy's Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie"; received a second Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for his work in the AIDS play "The Normal Heart"; and finished off the decade gathering up fine reviews in the amusing A.R. Gurney period piece "The Cocktail Hour". While hardly lacking for work on film (Kiss My Grits (1982), Crimes of Passion (1984), Spies Like Us (1985), and The Ladies Club (1986)), few of them made use of his talents and range. It was not until he was cast in the ground-breaking gay drama Longtime Companion (1989) that his film career revitalized. Giving a quiet, finely nuanced, painfully tender performance as the middle-aged lover and caretaker of a life partner ravaged by AIDS, Bruce managed to stand out amid the strong ensemble cast and earn himself an Oscar nomination for "Best Supporting Actor". Although he lost out to the flashier antics of Joe Pesci in the mob drama Goodfellas (1990) that year, Bruce was not overlooked -- copping Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics awards. Other gay-themed films also welcomed his presence, including The Cure (1995) and It's My Party (1996). The actor eventually served as a spokesperson for a host of AIDS-related organizations, including Hollywood Supports, and, elsewhere, is active with foundations that help children who are abused. Bruce has been all over the screen since his success in Longtime Companion (1989). Predominantly seen as mature, morally responsible dads and politicians, his genial good looks and built-in likeability have on occasion belied a weak or corrupt heart. Bruce married actress Lisa Pelikan in 1986 (well over a decade after his first marriage ended) and they have one son, Ethan, born in 1996. The handsome couple became well known around town and worked frequently together on stage ("The Downside," "Love Letters," "Breaking the Silence," "To Kill a Mockingbird") and in TV movies (Color of Justice (1997) (TV)). Bruce's more popular films these days have included Six Degrees of Separation (1993) starring Will Smith, the family adventure film Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog (1995) and the box-office hit X-Men (2000) and its sequel in the role of Senator Kelly. More controversial art-house showcases include Dahmer (2002), as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's father, and Hate Crime (2005), as a bigoted, murderous pastor. Bruce has attempted TV series leads in later years. With "Harry and the Hendersons" (1991), he ably directed a number of the show's episodes. He has also been tapped for recurring parts on "The Practice" and "The L Word," and is fondly remembered for his comedy episodes on "Seinfeld" as an attorney who goes for George's (Jason Alexander) throat when George's fiancée dies inexplicably of toxic poisoning. The actor recently completed a TV series revival of "Knight Rider" (2008). Divorced from Lisa Pelikan, Bruce is married these days to third wife Michele Correy and has a daughter by her, Sophia, born in 2006. They live in the Los Angeles area.

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Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
X Men Senator Kelly 1992 Action
The Babysitters Club 1995 Comedy
X-Men Senator Kelly 2000 Action
The Triangle (2005) Stan Lathem 2005 - 2005
Untitled Brad Copeland Project 2006
The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice Professor Lazlo 2008 Action
Knight Rider (2008) Charles Graiman 2008
The Sisterhood Richard Harrison 2013
Hidden in America Dr. Michael Millerton 2013
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Strawberry Statement 1970 Drama, Romance
Mame Older Patrick 1974
Summer of My German Soldier 1978 Drama, Romance
The Lathe of Heaven George Orr 1980 Sci Fi
Spies Like Us Ruby 1985 0
Lies Stuart Russell 1985 Drama, Thriller
The Ladies Club Richard Harrison 1986 Drama
Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story 1987 Drama
The Misfit Brigade Cpl. Joseph Porta 1988 Action, Adventure, Drama
Longtime Companion David 1990 Drama, Romance
Steel and Lace Albert Morton 1991 Action, Horror
An Ambush of Ghosts Bill Betts 1993 Drama
Six Degrees of Separation 1993 Game Show, 0
Short Cuts 1993 Comedy, Drama
Homage Joseph Smith 1995 Game Show
Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog 1995 Adventure, Family
The Skateboard Kid II Burt Squires 1995 Family, Fantasy, Thriller
After Jimmy 1996
The Crucible Reverend Parris 1996 Drama, History
Hidden in America 1996 Drama
Cure Dr. Stevens 1997
Lovelife Bruce 1997
Paulie Dr. Reingold 1998 Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Apt Pupil 1998 Drama, Thriller
At First Sight 1999 0
X-Men Senator Kelly 2000 0, Sport
The King is Alive 2001 Drama
Crazy/Beautiful Tom Oakley 2001 Drama, Romance
Summer Catch Rand Parrish 2001 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Too Young to Be a Dad Dan Freeman 2002
Dahmer 2002 0
High Crimes Brig. Gen. Bill Marks 2002 Crime, Drama, Mystery
L.A. Law: The Movie 2002 Drama
X2 Senator Kelly 2003 0, Sport, Game Show
Runaway Jury 2003 0
Out of the Ashes 2003 Drama
Manfast Rupert Iris 2003 Comedy, Romance
Evergreen Frank 2004 Drama
Going Shopping 2005
Hate Crime Pastor Boyd 2005 Crime, Drama, Mystery
Confession Father Thomas Parker 2005 Drama, Thriller
Touched Robert Davis 2006 Drama, Romance
Special Ops: Delta Force General Preston Rossdale 2006 Action
The Dead Girl 2007 Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Passengers Roger 2009 Drama
Christmas Angel Nick Anderson 2009 Comedy, Drama, Romance
A Golden Christmas Rod Wright 2009 Comedy, Family, Romance
Camp Hell Fr. Phineas McAllister 2010 Reality Tv
Arctic Blast Winslaw 2010 Thriller
Munger Road Chief Kirkhoven 2011
Crimes of Passion 2011 Game Show, Biography
Coffin Garrison 2011 Reality Tv, Game Show, Comedy
3 Holiday Tails Rod Wright 2011 Comedy, Family, Romance
God Don't Make the Laws Bud Kelly 2011 Drama
La linea Anthony 2011 Action, Crime, Drama
Return of the Killer Shrews Jerry Farrell 2012 Horror
Stealing Roses Mr. Lowell 2012 Biography, 0
A Schizophrenic Love Story Dr. Bob 2012 Comedy
The Millionaire Tour The Roman 2012 Action, Thriller
Beyond the Heavens Oliver Henry - adult 2013 Family
Words and Pictures Walt 2013 0, 0
Saving Lincoln William H. Seward 2013 Biography
The Lords of Salem Francis Matthias 2013 Horror, Thriller
Get a Job Lawrence Wilheimer 2014 Comedy
The Cure Dr. Stevens 2014 Game Show, 0, Sport
Persecuted Senator Donald Harrison 2014 Game Show, 0
37 Psychic 2014 Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Killing Frank Dr. Yardley 2015 Horror, Thriller
The Secret of Casa Matusita Victor 2015 Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Tao of Surfing Mr. Pearson 2015 Drama
Breach John O'Neill 2015 Game Show
Vendetta 2015 0
Rock Paper Dead Detective Dechert 2016 Horror, Thriller
The Bronx Bull D.A. Bonomi 2016
Star Trek: Captain Pike Captain Robert April 2016 Action, Adventure
Yamasong: March of the Hollows P'Torr The Exile 2017 Drama