Bruce Davison

Bruce Davison (born June 28, 1946) is an American actor and director of television, film, and theater. Davison is well known for his starring role as Willard Stiles in the cult horror films Willard (1971), Ben (1972) and Willard (2003), as well as his Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance in Longtime Companion (1989), and as Thomas Semmes in the HBO original movie Vendetta. He featured prominently in the X-Men film franchise – through X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003) – as antagonist Senator Robert Kelly.

Bruce Davison
Davison at the 52nd Annual Publicists Awards in February 2015
Born (1946-06-28) June 28, 1946
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationPennsylvania State University, University Park (BA)
New York University (MFA)
OccupationActor, director
Years active1968–present
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Spouse(s)Jess Walton (1972–1973; annulled)[2][3]
Lisa Pelikan (1986–2006; 1 child)
Michele Correy (2006–present; 1 child)
ChildrenEthan Davison (b. 1996)
Sophia Lucinda Davison (b. 2006)

More recently, Davison appeared in Fred Schepisi's Words and Pictures (2013), had a recurring role on The Fosters (2015–2016) and shares the screen with Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick in Get a Job (2016).[4]

Early life

Davison was born June 28, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Marian E. (née Holman), a secretary, and Clair W. Davison, a musician, architect, and draftsman for the Army Engineers.[5] His parents divorced when he was three years old. He was raised by his mother, and also spent weekends with his father.[6]

He graduated in 1964 from Marple Newtown Senior High School, entered Penn State as an art major, and then stumbled into acting when he accompanied a friend to an audition. He attended New York University's acting program, graduating in 1969.[4][7]


Davison made his Broadway debut in Tiger at the Gates in 1968. He also appeared as John Merrick in The Elephant Man, and starred in The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Tandy.[4] Davison was one of a quartet of newcomers, including Barbara Hershey, Richard Thomas, and Catherine Burns when he made his film debut in Last Summer in 1969. In 1970, he played opposite Kim Darby in the film about peaceful student protest and its violent outcome The Strawberry Statement.[8] A year later he portrayed the title role in the 1971 version of Willard, the first of two, as of the year 2015, to have been based on the novel Ratman's Notebooks. He also appeared in Ulzana's Raid, Peege, Mame, Mother, Jugs & Speed, Short Eyes, The Lathe of Heaven and Six Degrees of Separation. In 1978, he appeared as Dean Torrence with Richard Hatch in the made-for-TV biopic Deadman's Curve (the story of 1960s pop duo Jan & Dean). The same year, he played the title role in the TV movie adaptation Summer Of My German Soldier.

In 1981, he had the lead role in The Wave based on real events, starring as a history teacher who had conducted an experiment in Nazi philosophy on his own students.

Davison also starred in Tales from the Darkside (Season 1, Episode 8) and played the role of the father in the short-lived Harry and the Hendersons TV series.

In 1983, Davison was cast by Joseph Papp in the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival production of King Richard III. Additional Off-Broadway credits include Love Letters, The Cocktail Hour and Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive. He also played the role of Ruby in the 1985 comedy Spies Like Us, starring Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase.

In 1990, he portrayed a gay man whose lover is dying of AIDS in Longtime Companion. The role earned Davison a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. He concluded his Golden Globe acceptance speech[9] with the hope that humankind would devote as much effort to the war on AIDS as its wars against each other. Davison appeared in other movies addressing AIDS: In 1995's The Cure, he portrayed a physician sought by a young boy with AIDS in search of medical help. In 1996, Davison appeared in the film It's My Party, which chronicled the true events of a man dying with AIDS who decides to hold a farewell party for family and friends before taking his own life. Davison's website states he is a spokesperson for many AIDS-related groups and is a board member of the industry AIDS organization Hollywood Supports.[4]

In Los Angeles, Davison has appeared on stage in Streamers and The Normal Heart, winning the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama-Logue Award for his performances. Other theatre credits include The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (directed by Henry Fonda) and a stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird.[4]

He is familiar to movie audiences from his roles in Runaway Jury, Apt Pupil, and his role in the X-Men movie franchise as Senator Robert Kelly in the first film and as a shapeshifting impostor in X2. He was the fanatical Reverened Samuel Parris in Arthur Miller's screen adaptation of his play The Crucible. Davison also portrayed a rich philanthropist in the movie Christmas Angel. Davison's many television credits include Hunter (in which he was a semi-regular for at least one season), Marcus Welby, M.D., Love, American Style, The Waltons, Lou Grant, Murder, She Wrote, Designing Women, Seinfeld, Chicago Hope, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, V: The Series, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, CSI: Miami, Ghost Whisperer, Castle, Hawaii Five-0, the Stephen King mini-series Kingdom Hospital, and a recurring role on The Practice. Davison also had the recurring role of defense attorney Doug Hellman in Close to Home.

In 2001, Davison directed the TV film Off Season, which starred Sherilyn Fenn, Rory Culkin, Hume Cronyn and Adam Arkin. In 2007, Davison returned to the big screen as the father of Eric O'Neill in Breach. Also in that year, Davison was cast in the role of Charles Graiman, a protege of Wilton Knight who was the creator of the Knight Industries Three Thousand, in NBC's revival of the television series Knight Rider.

Davison also played the role of Dr. Silberman, the psychiatrist who once tormented Sarah Connor, in the seventh episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He portrayed Nick Anderson (a secret Santa Claus) in the TV movie Christmas Angel in 2009. In May 2010, Davison was cast to portray art dealer Wilhelm Van Schlagel for several episodes on ABC's General Hospital to begin airing in July 2010.

In 2010, he starred in the TV movie Titanic II. In 2011, he starred as Police Chief Kirkhoven in the movie Munger Road, and appeared in the Christmas movie 3 Holiday Tails. In 2012, he appeared in Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem. In addition, he played Secretary of State William H. Seward in the movie Saving Lincoln.

He played the role of Rear Admiral Arthur Shepard, Lieutenant Grace Shepard's father, in the short-stint TV series Last Resort.

In 2016, Davison stars as Dr. Stanley Cole in the comedy/fantasy Abnormal Attraction.[10]

Personal life

Davison married Michele Correy on April 30, 2006, and they have a daughter, Sophia Lucinda Davison, born on May 29, 2006. They reside in Los Angeles, California. Davison also has a son, Ethan, born on April 5, 1996, from a previous marriage to fellow actor Lisa Pelikan. He was once engaged to actress Karen Austin,[11] and was in a brief marriage with fellow actress Jess Walton, which was annulled in 1973.



1969Last SummerDan
1970The Strawberry StatementSimon
1971WillardWillard Stiles
Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to MeFitzgore
1972BenWillard StilesArchival Footage
The Jerusalem FileDavid
Ulzana's RaidLt. Garnett DeBuin
1973PeegeGregShort film
1974MamePatrick Dennis
1976Grand JuryBobby Allen
Mother, Jugs & SpeedLeroy
1977Short EyesClark Davis
The GatheringGeorge
1978Brass TargetCol. Robert Dawson
1981High RiskDan
1984Crimes of PassionDonny Hopper
1985Spies Like UsRuby
1986The Ladies ClubRichard Harrison
1987The Misfit BrigadeCorporal Joseph Porta
1989Longtime CompanionDavidGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—LA Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1991Steel and LaceAlbert Morton
1993Short CutsHoward FinniganGolden Globe Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Six Degrees of SeparationLarkin
1995Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow DogJohn McCormick
The CureDr. Jensen
The Baby-Sitters ClubWatson Brewer
1996It's My PartyRodney Bingham
Grace of My HeartJohn Murray
The CrucibleReverend Samuel Parris
1998PaulieDr. Reingold
Apt PupilRichard Bowden
1999At First SightDr. Charles Aaron
2000The King Is AliveRay
X-MenSenator Robert Kelly
2001Crazy/BeautifulTom Oakley
Summer CatchRand Parrish
2002High CrimesBrigadier General Bill Marks
DahmerLionel Dahmer
2003X2Senator Robert Kelly
WillardWillard Stiles I
Runaway JuryDurwood Cable
2005Hate CrimePastor Boyd
Going ShoppingAdam
8mm 2Ambassador Harrington
2006The Dead GirlLeah's father
2007BreachJohn O'Neill
2008The Librarian: Curse of the Judas ChaliceProfessor Lazlo / Vlad
2009La lineaAnthony
MegaFaultDr. Mark Rhodes
Christmas AngelNick Anderson
A Golden ChristmasRod
2010Arctic BlastWinslaw
Titanic IIJames Maine
Camp HellFr. Phineas McAllister
Justice League: Crisis on Two EarthsPresident Slade WilsonVoice-over
2011Munger RoadChief Kirkhoven
3 Holiday TailsRod Wright
Earth's Final HoursRothman
ElwoodCongressman BarberShort film
2012Return of the Killer ShrewsJerry Farrell
The Lords of SalemFrancis Matthias
2013Saving LincolnWilliam H. Seward
Words and PicturesWalt
2014PersecutedSenator Donald Harrison
2015The Leisure ClassEdward HBO's Project Greenlight season 4 film
Oceanus: Act OneCommander Mitch ConradShort film
2016The Curse of Sleeping BeautyRichard
Get A JobLawrence Wilheimer
The Bronx BullD. A. Bonomi
Love Locks Hugo Blanchet Hallmark TV Movie
2018Insidious: The Last KeyChristian Rainer
Abnormal AttractionDr. ColeIn post-production
2019Itsy BitsyWalter
Wish ManFrank Shankwitz Sr.
The Great Alaskan RaceGovernor Bone
More Beautiful for Having Been BrokenColin
Christmas at the PlazaReginald BrookwaterHallmark TV movie


Year !! Title !! Role !! class="unsortable" | Notes

1970–1979InsightAndy Fry/Randy King/Greg 4 episodes
1973Love StoryJeffrey1 episode
Break Up Himself Music comedy special for ABC
1974–1978Police StoryVictor Joe Vero/Clyde Griffiths 2 episodes
1975 The Waltons The Shivaree Bob Hill 1 episode
1977 The Gathering George Television film
1978 Deadman's Curve Dean Torrence
Summer of My German Soldier Anton Reiker
Mourning Becomes Electra Orin Mannon Miniseries
Lou GrantAndrew Raines 2 episodes
1980 The Lathe of Heaven George Orr Television film
1981 The Wave Ben Ross
1983Ghost DancingCalvin OberstTelevision film
1984Tales from the DarksideRichard Hagstrom1 episode
1985VJohn Langley3 episodes
1985–1989HunterCapt. Wyler/Dep. Chief Wyler16 episodes
1990Designing Women Reverend Eugene 'Gene' Chapman1 episode
1991–1993Harry and the HendersonsGeorge Henderson72 episodes
1992 Desperate Choices: To Save My Child Richard Robbins Television film
Live! From Death Row Laurence Dvorak
1993 A Mother's Revenge Bill Sanders
1995 Down, Out & Dangerous Brad Harrington
The Outer LimitsDr. McEnerney1 episode
1996Star Trek: VoyagerJareth
After Jimmy Ward "Sam" Stapp Television film
Hidden in America Dr. Michael Millerton
1996–1997SeinfeldWyck3 episodes
1998Touched by an AngelJacob 'Jake' Weiss1 episode
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1999 Vendetta Thomas Semmes Television film
1999–2000Chicago HopeDr. Burt Peters2 episodes
2000–2001The PracticeScott Wallace9 episodes
2001 Off Season Dr. Zimmer Television film (also director)
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special
2002Without a TracePaul CartwrightPilot episode
Law & Order: Special Victims UnitDr. Graham Mandell1 episode
Star Trek: EnterpriseMenos
L.A. Law: The Movie Lawrence Diebenkorn Television film
2003 Out of the Ashes Peter Schuman
2004Kingdom HospitalDr. Stegman13 episodes
JAGDr. Morris Sperling1 episode
2005Numb3rsRobert Oliver
The TriangleStan Lathem3 episodes
Law & Order: Trial by JuryPeter Betts1 episode
2005–2007Close to HomeAttorney Doug Hellman13 episodes
2006CSI: MiamiDane Daniels1 episode
2006–2010LOSTDr. Douglas Brooks2 episodes
2007The L WordLeonard Kroll3 episodes
Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series)Dr. Michael Robert1 episode
2008Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesDr. Peter Silberman
2008–2009Knight RiderDr. Charles Graiman11 episodes
2009Criminal MindsFather Davison1 episode
2009–2010Ghost WhispererJosh Bedford5 episodes
2010PsychWalter Snowden1 episode
General HospitalWilhelm von Schlagel5 episodes
2011CastleLou Karnacki1 episode
CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationAvery Tinsdale
Hawaii Five-0Steven Carver
Childrens HospitalNarrator
Covert AffairsMax Langford
2011–2012Drop Dead DivaJudge Cyrus Maxwell3 episodes
2012 Bigfoot Sheriff Walt Gunderson Television film
LuckHartstone2 episodes
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23Gabe Sharpe1 episode
2012–2013Last ResortAdmiral Arthur Shepard6 episodes
2014Those Who KillHoward Burgess10 episodes
The Legend of KorraLord Zuko6 episodes
SequesteredDanny Firmin's father12 episodes
2014–2016KingdomRon Prince4 episodes
2015–presentThe FostersStuart Adams5 episodes
2016The ExorcistPope Sebastian1 episode
2018Mozart in the JungleHesby1 episode
2018Forgive MeArchbishop1 episode
2019The Gift of ChristmasBob RodgersTelevision film
Creepshow2 episodes
The SonMr. Roy Endicott
Defrost: The Virtual SeriesMichael GarrisonTelevision Film


  1. "Bruce Davison".
  2. "Bruce Davison annulled marriage".
  3. "A Role as a Gay Companion Brings Bruce Davison An Oscar Buzz". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  4. Denise Ames (June 22, 2015). "One-on-One with Oscar-Nominated Actor Bruce Davison". The Tolucan Times. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  5. "Bruce Davison Biography (1946–)".
  6. P, Ken (April 28, 2003). "An Interview with Bruce Davison".
  7. "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  8. Sterritt, David. "The Strawberry Statement (1970)". Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  9. AwardsShowNetwork (January 26, 2011). "Bruce Davison Wins Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture – Golden Globes 1991" via YouTube.
  10. "Abnormal Attraction". January 1, 2000 via IMDb.
  11. "Ocala Star-Banner – Google News Archive Search".
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