The Irish-born star passed away on 12 December (09) following a suspected heart attack in Thousand Oaks, California.
Davis began his career on stage in his native Ireland, but was whisked off to New York City when he was spotted by the producers of hit Broadway musical Finian's Rainbow.
The actor subsequently moved to Hollywood and landed roles in 22 movies, including 1953's The Desert Rats with Richard Burton, The Wreck of the Mary Deare in 1959 with Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston, and 1968's Star! with Julie Andrews.
Davis also appeared on more than 100 TV shows throughout his career, including The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, as well as clocking up more than 1,000 appearances on Broadway.
In the 1950s he became co-owner of the Hollywood School of Drama and The Hollywood Repertory Theater with actor Dan O'Herlihy, and later went on to expand his resume with roles as a writer, director and film producer. He wrote and directed films including Kennedy's Ireland, Thunder Run and The Violent Ones, before he quit the movie business in 1984 to run for Congress, winning the Democratic primary but losing the general election.
In his later years, Davis taught acting classes at the Actors and Singers Studio in Thousand Oaks, which he co-founded with his daughter, singer/actress Maripat Davis.
Davis is survived by his wife of 59 years, actress Marilyn O'Connor, his daughter and a son.
Michael Moore the writer director producer and featured interviewer for Bowling for Columbine (a title best explained by the film) traverses North America searching for an answer to one question: Why do guns kill so many people in America? As he talks to the Michigan Militia Marilyn Manson Charlton Heston survivors of the shooting at Columbine High School James Nichols (that's the brother of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols) and many many others Moore discovers that there is no easy answer. It's not just because there are a lot of guns in the States; Canada has over 7 million guns in 10 million households and still has significantly fewer gun-related deaths than the U.S. For Moore much of the blame lies with the American media which perpetrates a culture of fear in order to--what else?--convince people to buy more stuff from big business which is equally responsible. If you're afraid to walk out of your house you need a bigger TV to entertain you; if you have to leave better make sure you have a car as big as a tank to protect you. If you're going to the grocery store better stock up on plenty of bottled water and if you're headed for Kmart may as well pick up some--ammo?
That's right ammunition. The troubled teens who caused such carnage at Columbine had purchased the bullets for their shooting spree at the local Kmart and in one of the film's most incredible scenes Moore takes two survivors of the shooting to Kmart's headquarters in Troy Mich. to "return the merchandise" that's still embedded in their bodies. When that doesn't get the desired response (a promise that Kmart will stop selling ammunition) the dogged threesome head to the nearest Kmart buy every bullet in the place and return to Kmart's headquarters--this time with a hoard of reporters and news cameras behind them. Needless to say Kmart vowed to stop selling bullets for handguns within 90 days. This scene really gets at the heart of Moore's paradoxical position in modern culture. It's his bulldog tenacity as a documentarian that makes his films and TV shows so interesting to watch especially when he's forcing big business to its knees but at the same time the Kmart scene shows how Moore himself can easily fall prey to exactly the kind of media hoopla he cautions against. The media is a powerful influence; don't trust it. The media is a powerful tool; manipulate it.
Fortunately Moore knows how tenuous his position is in this regard and as a director he makes decisions to juxtapose scenes in ways that rather than pretend the issue doesn't exist play up the fact that as a personality on screen he's every bit as susceptible to being accused of manipulating the medium as any local news reporter. In one particularly shocking example a reporter puts on his sad face to tell of the tragic shooting of 6-year-old Kayla Rowland by a classmate in Flint Mich. (Moore's hometown and also not coincidentally Moore would say the onetime home of General Motors and Eric Harris one of the Columbine shooters). As soon as the cameras stop rolling the reporter is shouting obscenities into his earpiece and whining about how much he needs some hairspray. Moore on the other hand takes his cameras inside the school to talk with the principal and he turns her away from the camera when she becomes visibly upset. But he doesn't turn the camera off. It's tricky. The same could be said of the film's climactic scene in which Moore visits Heston (the personification of the film's real villain--the NRA) at the actor's home. Knowing now that Heston suffers from Alzheimer's disease Moore's incessant questions seem too pushy and Heston's abrupt departure seems justified. Of course who's to say that Heston didn't release the information about his disease to the media this August knowing that Columbine which first screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May but actually debuted in the U.S. at the Telluride Film Festival--in August--had painted him in a very unfavorable light? Although this connection seems tenuous it's just this kind of conspiracy-minded reasoning that guides the plot of Bowling for Columbine. It can't be coincidence Moore argues that Lockheed Martin the largest weapons manufacturer in the U.S. and possibly the world is based in--you got it--Littleton Co. home of the Columbine Rebels. It may be just a coincidence but it might just be all too true.
French composer Jacques Loussier filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a Manhattan court Thursday claiming Eminem and his record label Interscope Records stole one of his tunes, the Associated Press reports. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, accuses the Grammy-winning rapper and his label of lifting parts of Loussier's jazz fusion work "Pulsion" for Eminem's "Kill You" which appears on his best-selling album The Marshall Mathers LP. Loussier, 67, gained fame by fusing classical music and jazz with his Play Bach Trio. According to the suit, Loussier has released more than a dozen albums, selling six million copies worldwide.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey declined an offer from President Bush to join an official U.S. delegation to tour Afghanistan's schools because of her busy schedule. According to the AP, the White House has since postponed the trip, which was to celebrate young girls' return to school after the fall of the Taliban regime. It is not clear whether the delegation will replace with another celebrity. The trip was to feature Bush advisor Karen Hughes and possibly National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Richard Gere has canceled a planned appearance before the German parliament's human rights committee, the AP reports. Gere, a committed Buddhist, did not give an explanation for the cancellation. He was invited to a meeting of the panel in Berlin on April 17 because he is considered "knowledgeable about the political situation " in Tibet, the head of the parliament committee told German magazine Der Spiegel last month.
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is going to have laser surgery to remove two tattoos on her back, UK's the Mail on Sunday reports. The singer will reportedly visit Cher's doctor in California to discuss the procedure. "I've changed," she told the paper. "It's time to get rid of them and move on." The tattoos include an eight-pronged star between her shoulder blades and a black jaguar on her lower back.
Kylie Minogue has reportedly turned down a $1.7 million offer to pose nude for Playboy magazine. The singer told The News of the World: "I don't think I'll take it up. I'd never pose topless because it's not me." Minogue however is contemplating an offer from the Sultan of Brunei to sing at a private birthday party for his son, the paper reports.
In-flight publication SkyMall will distribute the first of 10 celebrity versions of the catalogue starting in April, the AP reports. The debut catalog, which will be distributed in the seatbacks of 24 airlines, will feature George Segal and Wendie Malick who star in the NBC comedy Just Shoot Me. The company said the stars were chosen because Segal, whose character Jack Gallo is a magazine publisher, is depicted as a SkyMall fan.
Clarkston District Court Judge Gerald McNally refused to disqualify himself in the crotch-rubbing case against shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Prosecutor Kenneth Frazee had asked McNally disqualify himself from the case because the judge had indicated he would likely charge Manson $4,000 without hearing all the facts. McNally says that his knowledge of some of the facts does not warrant his removal, the AP reports.
Iggy Pop, Perry Farrell and Ben Harper have reportedly been dumped by EMI's Virgin Records. According to the New York Post, the record company is experiencing a shake-up amid the arrival of new label head Matt Serletic and new EMI chief Alain Levy. The paper also claims Virgin insiders said Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger (as a solo artist) just missed the ax. EMI recently paid Mariah Carey $50 million to back out of her $100 million contract, and the label also announced 1,800 layoffs.
AMC Entertainment Inc. has completed the purchase of GC Companies, the parent company of General Cinemas. According to an AMC press release, the acquisition, which was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on March 18, includes 66 theaters with 621 screens in the United States. AMC is one of the survivors of a wave of cinema bankruptcies in recent years that include United Artist Theater Co., Edwards Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas and General Cinemas.
On the [Crime] Scene
Following reports that a plea bargain deal had been struck in PR princess Lizzie Grubman's road rage trial, one of the victims is speaking out. "I want the truth to come out, " the victim told the New York Post on the condition of anonymity. "I do want to see her stand trial. It's not fair to just see her walk away." Grubman, you may recall, was charged with assault and leaving the scene of an accident after she plowed down 16 people outside a Southampton's club last July. Grubman, a close friend of actress Tara Reid, represents a long list of clients, including Jay-Z.
Author Ray Bradbury, who wrote the classic science fiction novel The Martian Chronicles, will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday. The ceremony, which will be attended by Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn and actor Charlton Heston, will kick off the month-long reading campaign called "One Book, One City L.A." with residents being urged to read Bradbury's Farenheit 451. The book is about a futuristic firefighter who must burn books for a living.
Ed Turner, the man who helped establish CNN as a major respected news source, died at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., Saturday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 66. One of the first professionals brought into the company in 1980, he was nicknamed "No Relation" Turner because he coincidentally shared the last name of founder Ted Turner, the AP reports.
Comedian and scriptwriter Barry Took died Sunday morning at a nursing home in London after suffering from cancer. He was 73. Took, who helped create the classic radio comedy Round the Horne, was responsible for bringing the Monty Python team to the BBC. He was also a successful TV and radio presenter, hosting Points of View and The News Quiz.
The man found dead in actor Art Malik's swimming pool Friday was his daughter's boyfriend, Daniel Williams, Reuters reports. Williams had attended the woman's 21st birthday and was later found unconscious in the pool. Malik, who starred in Passage to India and Jewel in the Crown, said: "Dan was a very special person and we very much considered him part of our family. He had been Jessica's boyfriend for seven months and they were very happy together." Williams' death is not being treated as suspicious.