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Robert Davi

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Title: Robert Davi  
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Subject: Son of the Pink Panther, A Long Way Off, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2002 film), Blind Justice (1994 film), In the Mix (film)
Collection: 1953 Births, 1954 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Jazz Singers, American Male Film Actors, American Male Singers, American Male Television Actors, American People of Italian Descent, American People of Sicilian Descent, American Roman Catholics, Hofstra University Alumni, Las Vegas Entertainers, Living People, Male Actors from New York City, Male Actors of Italian Descent, New York Republicans, People from Queens, New York, People of Campanian Descent
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Robert Davi

Robert Davi
Davi performing in Long Island in August 2013
Background information
Birth name Robert John Davi
Born (1953-06-26) June 26, 1953
Origin Astoria, Queens, New York
Genres traditional pop, Great American Songbook
Occupation(s) Actor, singer, writer, director
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1977–present
Website Davi Sings Sinatra

Robert John Davi (born June 26, 1953) is an American actor, singer, writer, and director.[1] Over the course of his acting career, Davi has performed in more than 130 films. He has played the roles of main villain and drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Profiler, as Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in Die Hard, the opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The Goonies, Hans Zarba in Son of the Pink Panther and Al Torres in Showgirls.

Classically trained as a singer, Davi launched his professional singing career in 2011.[2][3] His first album, Davi Sings Sinatra -- On The Road To Romance, hit #6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice and vocal interpretations, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas, Nevada, six months after the record was released.[4]


  • Early life 1
  • Acting career 2
  • Directing career 3
  • Recording career 4
  • Personal life 5
  • Awards and honors 6
  • TV and filmography 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Davi was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, the son of Maria (née Rulli) and Sal Davi.[2] His mother was an Italian American whose family came from Nusco and his father was a native of Torretta;[5] Davi spoke Italian during his childhood.[2] He attended Seton Hall, a Catholic high school in Patchogue, New York.[2] He has two sisters, Yvonne Davi (deceased), and Michelle (Davi) Queal. He graduated from Hofstra University, the alma mater of fellow James Bond villain Christopher Walken. Davi was drawn to Hofstra because of the University's strong drama department as well as its unique reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater.[6]

Acting career

Davi made his motion picture debut in Contract On Cherry Street, in which he shared the screen with Frank Sinatra. He subsequently worked with Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benicio del Toro, James Franco, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, and Roberto Benigni, among others. He has appeared in movies including The Goonies, Die Hard, Showgirls, Son of the Pink Panther, and in the Bond film Licence to Kill (1989) as the villain Franz Sanchez, a South American drug lord and murderer.[7]

On television, he starred as Commander Acastus Kolya on Stargate Atlantis, appeared in two-part episodes of Criminal Minds, and played Supervisory Special Agent Bailey Malone of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in 88 episodes of his own NBC series, Profiler. In 1989, Davi appeared as Mafia Albert Cerrico on the television series Wiseguy, in the 10 episode Mafia arc titled Garbage Wars. He also sang in the first installment of the arc, called Le Lacrime de Amore Part I.

In 2011, Davi appeared alongside Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken in the gangster movie Kill the Irishman. The film, in which Davi played Mafia hitman Ray Ferritto, is a biopic of Danny Greene, an Irish-American mob boss who warred with the Cleveland crime family during the 1970s. Released the same year, he was also in Game of Death with Wesley Snipes. He followed up these projects with crime thriller The Iceman (2012), co-starring alongside Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and Ray Liotta.

In 2014, Davi appeared as Goran Vata in The Expendables 3.[8] In 2015, Davi appeared in a music video for Bob Dylan's recording of "The Night They Called It A Day", from Dylan's album Shadows In The Night, a selection of songs which had been recorded by Frank Sinatra. Rolling Stone suggested that Davi's role in the video may be a nod towards Davi's having made his acting debut alongside Sinatra in the crime film Contract on Cherry Street, and Davi's release of his own album of Sinatra covers.[9]

Directing career

In 2007, Davi made his directorial debut with The Dukes, a parable regarding the mid-2000 economic crisis and its impact. In addition to Davi, the film stars Chazz Palminteri and Peter Bogdanovich. The Dukes was selected for the premiere section at the Rome Film Festival, along with films by Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet, and Gavin Hood. Davi was the only first-time director in the premiere section. At the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, the film received awards for best first-time director and best screenplay. Later, The Dukes was invited to the Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival in France, among other festivals.

Recording career

In high school, Davi was praised for his singing, and auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera after being awarded first place at the prestigious New York State School Music Association’s Solo Competition, where he sang Vincent Youman's Without A Song. He subsequently received classical training with top vocal teachers, Samuel Margolis and Danial Ferro of Juilliard and Tito Gobbi. However, Davi damaged his voice, and later explained that he was a baritone with the "heart of a tenor and had pushed too hard, too early."[10]

Davi began to focus again on singing in 2011, and worked with "Voice Builder" Gary Catona as he prepared to record his first album.[11] With a thirty-piece orchestra, he recorded the album at the legendary Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, where Frank Sinatra recorded on many occasions.[12] The album, which featured new arrangements by composer Nic. tenBroek, was produced by Phil Ramone, engineered by Dan Wallin, and mixed by the legendary Al Schmitt. The album, Davi Sings Sinatra -- On The Road To Romance, was released October 24, 2011, and received significant attention from the media, garnering positive reviews.[13] Jazztimes called Davi Sings Sinatra "uniformly impressive," [14] and critic Don Heckman wrote in the Orange County Register that "there are, of course, dozens of Sinatra imitators and simulators. But what Davi does is a whole different matter. A tribute? Yes, indeed; all that and more."[15] AllMusic noted that "Davi makes no attempt to copy Sinatra's vocal sound...Rather, he is his own singer."[16] The album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz charts.[17] Quincy Jones said: "I have never heard anyone come this close to Sinatra's sound – and still be himself. Many try, but Robert Davi has the voice, tone, the flavor and the swagger."[18]

In December 2012, Davi appeared along with Roger Cicero in the French/German Arte TV program Durch die Nacht mit.... The episode was shot in the Little Italy area of New York City and featured conversation between Cicero and Davi and solos of Sinatra standards by both performers. In December 2013, Davi released a Christmas single, "Mistletoe and Holly," with all proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army.[11]

In September 2013, Davi recorded a single by Nick Vallelonga called, "New York City Christmas", which was arranged by Chris Walden, performed by members the Chris Walden Big Band, and recorded and mixed at Capitol Records by Al Schmitt and Steve Genewick. It was released in November 2013.

Davi has also lent his voice to political ads, including Carly Fiorina's notorious "Demon Sheep" attack ad, "Hot Air: The Movie," and others produced by Republican media consultant Fred Davis.[19]

Personal life

Davi, a devout Roman Catholic, is an outspoken conservative and often speaks at Republican Party gatherings. He has been invited to comment on numerous political shows and backed John McCain during his presidential campaign. He narrated several film montages that aired during the 2008 Republican National Convention.[20][21] Davi also spoke at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. He was a frequent guest on Fox News's late-night satire program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.[22]

Davi's children are Sean Christian Davi (born 1981), with Jeri McBride, and Ariana Marie Davi (born April 3, 1990), Frances Davi (born 1992), and Isabella Davi and Nicholas Edward Davi (twins, born on January 11, 2001), with Christine Bolster.

Although he is frequently seen smoking cigarettes in films and on television, Davi is an avid cigar smoker.[2]

Awards and honors

For his notable contributions to the Italian community, Davi was enshrined in Toronto's Italian Walk of Fame in 2013.[23]

TV and filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1977 Contract on Cherry Street Mickey Sinardos, Greek hijacker TV
1978 Charlie's Angels Ritchie TV Series
1979 And Your Name Is Jonah Dickie TV
From Here to Eternity Guard mini TV series
The Legend of the Golden Gun William Quantrill TV
1980 Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story Hubbard TV
1982 T. J. Hooker Joseph "The Barber" Picartus/Tom Warfield TV, 2 episodes
1984 City Heat Nino
The A-Team Boyle (episode "Sheriffs of Rivertown")
1985 The Goonies Jake Fratelli
Hunter Sonny Dunbar TV series
1986 The Equalizer Michael Riegert TV series
Raw Deal Max Keller
1987 Wild Thing Chopper
1988 Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami Salim Ajami
Action Jackson Tony Moretti
L.A. Law Dominic Simonetti TV series
Die Hard FBI Special Agent Johnson
Traxx Aldo Palucci
1989 Licence to Kill Franz Sanchez
Wiseguy Albert Cerrico TV series
1990 Peacemaker Det. Sgt. Frank Ramos
Deceptions Jack 'Harley' Kessler
Maniac Cop 2 Det. Sean McKinney
Predator 2 Captain Phil Heinemann
Amazon Dan
1991 Legal Tender Fix Cleary
Under Surveillance
White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd Lucky Luciano
The Taking of Beverly Hills Robert Masterson
1992 Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue Sully
Center of the Web Richard Morgan
Illicit Behavior Lt. Matt Walker
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery Martin Pinzon
1993 Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence Det. Sean McKinney
Night Trap Mike Turner
Son of the Pink Panther Hans Zarba
Quick Matthew Davenport
FBI: The Untold Stories Donnie Brasco TV series
1994 No Contest Sergeant Crane
The Dangerous Billy Davalos
Blind Justice Alacran
The November Men Robert Davi
Cops and Robbersons Osborn
1995 Cyber Vengeance R.D. Crowley
VR.5 Simon Buchanan TV series
Codename: Silencer Eddie Cook
Delta of Venus The Collector
Showgirls Al Torres
The Zone Rowdy Welles
1996 Absolute Aggression R. D. Crowley
For Which He Stands Carlito Escalara
An Occasional Hell Trooper Larry Abbott
Profiler Agent Bailey Malone TV series
1997 The Beneficiary Gil Potter
1998 The Bad Pack McQue
1999 Batman Beyond Dr. Mike Morgan TV series
My Little Assassin Frank Sturgis
The Pretender Agent Bailey Malone TV series
2001 Soulkeeper Mallion
2002 The Sorcerer's Apprentice Merlin/Milner
Verdict in Blood Wade Waters
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez
The 4th Tenor Ierra
The Hot Chick Stan, April's Dad
Hitters Nick
2003 One Last Ride Father
2004 Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss Ivan Nagy
Karen Sisco Denton TV series
Halo 2 Rtas 'Vadumee (SpecOps Leader)
Stargate: Atlantis Commander Acastus Kolya TV series
2005 Breaking Vegas Narrator TV series
In the Mix Fish
2006 Huff Dickins TV series
Scarface: The World Is Yours Alejandro "Alex" Sosa
2007 The Dukes Danny (also: directorial debut)
Halo 3 Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadumee
2008 An American Carol Aziz
Burnin' Up Jonas Brothers Music video
2009 American Summer Himself
The Butcher Murdoch
Magic Man Simpson
2010 Spring Break '83 Dean Whitter
Magic Dr. David Ortero
One in the Gun Vincent
Ballistica Macarthur
Apocalypse Island Narrator
Game of Death Frank Smith
2011 Doonby Sheriff Woodley
Kill the Irishman Ray Ferritto
Swamp Shark Sheriff Watson
2012 The Iceman Leonard Marks
2013 A Long Way Off Frank
Blood of Redemption Hayden
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Marvin Braxton
The Expendables 3 Goran Vata
TBA Reagan Leonid Brezhnev Post-production


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  21. ^ Robert Davi Backstage at the Republican National Convention on YouTube
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External links

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