Bruce Davison is an American actor and director known for starring in the films ‘Willard’ and ‘Ben.’ He is also popular for featuring in the X-Men movie franchise as the antagonist Senator Robert Kelly, and for his Golden Globe-winning performance in the flick ‘Longtime Companion’. Born to a musician and architect father and a secretary mother, Davison was primarily raised by his mother after she separated from his father when he was just three years old. Following his high school education, he graduated from New York University's acting program in 1969, and also made his film debut that year with a role in ‘Last Summer’. Since then, Davison has continued to act in films, television shows, and stage productions. Extremely versatile as an actor, he has also served as a writer, director, and producer. On a personal note, he has a daughter with his current wife Michele Correy. He also has a son with his ex-wife and fellow actor Lisa Pelikan.
Childhood & Early Life
Bruce Davison was born on June 28, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, to Clair W. Davison, an architect and musician, and Marian E., a secretary. His parents separated when he was three years old, following which he was reared by his mother.
Following his graduation from Marple Newtown Senior High School in 1964, Davison first entered Penn State as an art major and later attended New York University's acting program.
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Bruce Davison made his Broadway debut in 1968 with the production of ‘Tiger at the Gates’. A year later, he made his movie debut when he appeared as Dan in ‘Last Summer’.
He starred alongside Kim Darby in ‘The Strawberry Statement’ (1970), a film about student protests and their violent aftereffects.
In 1971, the actor was cast in the titular role in Daniel Mann’s horror film ‘Willard’. Based on the Stephen Gilbert’s novel ‘Ratman's Notebooks,’ the movie earned an Edgar Award nomination for best picture.
Davison had roles in the films ‘Ulzana's Raid’, ‘Peege’, ‘Mother, Jugs & Speed’ and ‘Mame’ in the early to mid-1970s.
In 1978, he starred as Dean Torrence in a made-for-TV biopic titled ‘Deadman's Curve,’ and also played a main role in the TV film adaptation of the novel ‘Summer Of My German Soldier’.
From 1985 to 1989, he played Dep. Chief Wyler in the sitcom ‘Hunter’ and also did the movie ‘Spies Like Us’. Davison next appeared in the comedy-drama films ‘Short Cuts’ and ‘Six Degrees of Separation.’
In 1995, he played a doctor sought by a young guy with AIDS in search of medical assistance in the film ‘The Cure.’ A year later, he appeared in a film based on the same theme titled ‘It’s My Party’ that was about a man dying with AIDS who holds a farewell party for his dear ones before taking his own life.
The actor made a guest appearance in an episode of ‘Touched by an Angel’. His role as Jacob 'Jake' Weiss earned him an Emmy Award nomination.
He was seen in the sitcom ‘The Practice’ as Scott Wallace, a role he played from 2000 to 2001. During this time, Davison also appeared in the film ‘X-Men’ as Senator Robert Kelly.
After reprising his role of Senator Robert Kelly in X-Men’s sequel ‘X2: X-Men United’ in 2003, the actor starred as Dr. Stegman in the miniseries ‘Kingdom Hospital’. Soon afterward, he joined the cast of the crime drama ‘Close to Home’ as Attorney Doug Hellman.
In the ensuing years, Davison had roles in the dramas ‘Knight Rider’, ‘Ghost Whisperer’ and ‘General Hospital’. In 2012 and 2013, he did the films ‘The Lords of Salem’, ‘Saving Lincoln’ and ‘Words and Pictures’ and also appeared in ABC’s military drama ‘Last Resort.’
From 2014 to 2016, the actor played Ron Prince in the drama series ‘Kingdom’. During this time, he also played Lawrence Wilheimer in ‘Get A Job’, a film about a group of friends who strive hard to seek jobs after their graduation.
Davison also made appearances in the sitcoms ‘Those Who Kill’, ‘The Legend of Korra’ and ‘Sequestered’ in the mid-2010s.
In 1989, Bruce Davison was cast as David in the film ‘Longtime Companion’. Also starring Campbell Scott, Mary-Louise Parker and Patrick Cassidy, the film dealt with the subject of AIDS.
From 1991 to 1993, the actor played George Henderson in ‘Harry and the Hendersons’, a series about a family who adopts a Bigfoot named Harry.
Family & Personal Life
Bruce Davison’s first marriage was with actress Jess Walton in 1972. The marriage was annulled in 1973.
From 1986 to 2006, he was married to actress Lisa Pelikan. The couple has a son named Ethan. After separating from Pelikan, the actor married Michele Correy in 2006. They have a daughter named Sophia Lucinda Davison.