The saying comes from Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization from which Davis drew peace, strength and serenity after he joined and became sober in 1981. Before that, Davis wrote, "I was a total drug addict--an alcoholic and I.V. drug user--a user of just about any kind of drug I could get. And I was sexually very promiscuous. I've never known any addicts who weren't."
Though Susan has said that Davis apparently contracted the virus by sharing needles with people who later died of AIDS, Davis in his book proposal wrote the media's and public's fascination with how specific individuals contracted the virus is "very disturbing."
"There are many different ways to contract the virus, and each carries its own degree of judgment or compassion," he wrote. "Gays (are) the most heavily judged, receiving the least compassion. One step up are the I.V. drug users, then heterosexual promiscuity, women who get it from infected husbands, transfusions and the ultimate in no judgment and total compassion, babies born with the virus.
"The problem with this is if there are 'innocent' victims then there must be guilty victims," Davis wrote.
The fight against AIDS will be hampered, Davis wrote, until "that kind of judgment is suspended" and it is widely recognized that no people with AIDS "deserve to have this disease and (that) all (of them) deserve only compassion and support."
But Davis' support team consisted only of Susan, Kramer, McFarlane, Weisman, a physician's assistant who came to the house to draw blood and perform other routine procedures, a therapist and Mark Senak, the director of client services at AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Senak, who had met Davis briefly backstage in 1985 during the New York run of "The Normal Heart," recalled getting a phone call from a desperate and frightened Davis shortly after Senak moved to Los Angeles in 1989.
Recalled Senak, who had been director of legal services for Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York: "I thought to myself, is this what it is going to be like out in Los Angeles, brokering medical services for people needing anonymity?"
Senak said Davis' reluctance to file insurance claims "is not exclusive to Brad. I find it with clients time and time again. People are so afraid of losing their insurance."
Of course, Susan was Brad's most devoted source of support. "He was the great love of my life, that is the truth," she said, tears welling up. "He was not going to be one more person with this disease to be abandoned."
The couple met in 1971 when Davis was signed by agent Stark Hesseltine, for whom she worked as a secretary and who had previously discovered such talents as Robert Redford, Elizabeth Ashley and Blythe Danner.
"He came into the office while I was typing, sat on my desk and said: 'You want to have some eggs on Thursday?' " Susan laughed.
The then-struggling actor "never had any money," she recalled. "He just ate what was cheap."
"He was skinny and funny and Southern," she said. "I said yes because he was so sweet." They moved in together shortly thereafter and were wed five years later.
Davis' big break came in the film "Midnight Express" but, his wife said, he was too young to handle success and drank heavily and abused drugs.
"He was not a closet drunk," she recalled. "He made scenes in public many places, many times. He was wild."
By 1981, Davis' career was "completely shattered," she said. "He hit bottom. He couldn't get a job in this town. And then he (joined AA and) got sober."
Davis first heard about AIDS in 1982 when his friend, Larry Kramer, told him about what was then known as "gay cancer."
Wrote Davis: "In the back of my head a little voice said: 'Whew! At least this is one horror I don't have to worry about coming to rest in my lap.' That may sound cold, but having nearly died so many times during the drug years, my instinct for my own survival was now very keen."
By 1983, "confident that the 10-year nightmare of addiction was over," wrote Davis, Susan gave birth to Alexandra, "the joy of our lives."
"I was working again," he wrote. "Everything seemed to be turning around."
But there would be no happy ending. Saturday night at 8:30, Davis called his longtime friend Erman, who directed the actor in "When the Time Comes," a film about assisted suicide.
"This very weak voice said, 'It's Brad,' " Erman recalled. "I was having people to dinner so I said, 'I'll call you tomorrow.' He said: 'No you can't.'
"I said, 'Brad, you've got to talk up, I can't hear you' . . . and then he said, 'I just want to tell you I'm very sick, I have AIDS and I just want to say goodby to you.'
"I said, 'I can't say goodby, I'm not ready to say goodby. Can I call you?' He said, 'No, I'll call you.' I was afraid to call Susan because he had told me not to call."
Monday morning, a message on Erman's answering machine announced to him that Davis died Sunday.