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Don S. Davis, 1942 - 2008

Former professor acted in 'Stargate' and 'Twin Peaks'

July 08, 2008|From a Times Staff Writer

Don S. Davis, a college professor who found a second career as a character actor, gaining notice for his roles in TV's "Stargate: SG-1" and "Twin Peaks," died of a heart attack June 29 at his home in Gibsons, Canada. He was 65.

Davis was teaching theater arts at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in the early 1980s when he decided to pursue acting as a profession.

A native of the Missouri Ozarks who had served in the U.S. Army, Davis drew upon those experiences in his frequent portrayals of authority figures on television and film. He had a regular role as Gen. George S. Hammond on the science-fiction TV series "Stargate: SG-1" from 1997 to 2006 and a recurring role as Maj. Garland Briggs on the quirky "Twin Peaks" in the early '90s. He also appeared periodically as Scully's father in "The X-Files" TV series about FBI agents investigating unsolved cases.

"I like sci-fi because it's really one of the last places or genres that has clearly defined good and evil, and it's a place where you can have heroes without them having to be overly flawed," Davis told the Press of Christchurch, New Zealand, last year.

Among Davis' small but memorable film roles were Charlie Collins, coach of the Racine Belles women's professional baseball team in "A League of Their Own" (1992), and Everett Bainbridge, a Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show judge in "Best in Show" (2000).

Don Sinclair Davis was born Aug. 4, 1942, in Aurora, Mo. He studied physical education and art at Southwest Missouri State College but changed his major to theater and art after working in the scene shop designing sets for plays. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1965.

He had joined the Army ROTC to pay his way through college and served in Korea for three years, attaining the rank of captain. After fulfilling his military obligation, he enrolled in Southern Illinois University, earning a master's in theater in 1970 and a doctorate in 1982. He taught at Southern Illinois before moving to Vancouver. He left the academic world for full-time acting in 1987 and retired in 2007 because of a heart condition.

Davis is survived by his wife, Ruby Fleming-Davis, a costumer, and his son, Matthew, from a previous marriage.


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