Actor Bruce Davison

Bruce Allen Davison (born June 28, 1946) is an American actor and director. Davison is well known for his starring role as Willard Stiles in the cult horror film Willard (1971) and 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 in the X-Men film franchise – through X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003) – as antagonist Senator Robert Kelly.

In the 2010s, 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).

Early life

Davison was born in 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents divorced when he was three years old. He was raised by his mother and spent weekends with his father.

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.


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. 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. 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 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.

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.

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 a shapeshifting impostor in X2. He was the fanatical Reverend 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, Supernatural, 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 starred as Dr. Stanley Cole in the comedy/fantasy Abnormal Attraction.

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, and was in a brief marriage with fellow actress Jess Walton, which was annulled in 1973.



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Last Summer Dan
1970 The Strawberry Statement Simon
1971 Willard Willard Stiles
Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me Fitzgore
1972 Ben Willard Stiles Archival Footage
The Jerusalem File David
Ulzana’s Raid Lt. Garnett DeBuin
1973 Peege Greg Short film
1974 Mame Patrick Dennis
1976 Grand Jury Bobby Allen
Mother, Jugs & Speed Leroy
1977 Short Eyes Clark Davis
The Gathering George
1978 Brass Target Col. Robert Dawson
French Quarter Kid Ross / Inspector Sordik
1978 Summer of My German Soldier Anton Friedrich Reiker
1981 High Risk Dan
1984 Crimes of Passion Donny Hopper
1985 Spies Like Us Ruby
1986 The Ladies Club Richard Harrison
1987 The Misfit Brigade Corporal Joseph Porta
1989 Longtime Companion David Golden 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
1991 Steel and Lace Albert Morton
1993 Short Cuts Howard Finnigan Golden Globe Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Six Degrees of Separation Larkin
1995 Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog John McCormick
Widow’s Kiss Justin
The Cure Dr. Jensen
The Baby-Sitters Club Watson Brewer
1996 It’s My Party Rodney Bingham
Grace of My Heart John Murray
The Crucible Reverend Samuel Parris
1997 Lovelife Bruce
1998 Paulie Dr. Reingold
Apt Pupil Richard Bowden
1999 At First Sight Dr. Charles Aaron
2000 The King Is Alive Ray
X-Men Senator Robert Kelly
2001 Crazy/Beautiful Tom Oakley
Summer Catch Rand Parrish
2002 High Crimes Brigadier General Bill Marks
Dahmer Lionel Dahmer
2003 X2 Mystique
Willard Willard Stiles I
Runaway Jury Durwood Cable
2005 Hate Crime Pastor Boyd
Going Shopping Adam
8mm 2 Ambassador Harrington
2006 The Dead Girl Leah’s father
2007 Breach John O’Neill
2008 The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice Professor Lazlo / Vlad
2009 La linea Anthony
MegaFault Dr. Mark Rhodes
Christmas Angel Nick Anderson
A Golden Christmas Rod
2010 Arctic Blast Winslaw
Titanic II James Maine
Camp Hell Fr. Phineas McAllister
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths President Slade Wilson Voice-over
2011 Munger Road Chief Kirkhoven
3 Holiday Tails Rod Wright
Earth’s Final Hours Rothman
Coffin Garrison
Elwood Congressman Barber Short film
2012 Return of the Killer Shrews Jerry Farrell
The Lords of Salem Francis Matthias
2013 Saving Lincoln William H. Seward
Words and Pictures Walt
2014 Persecuted Senator Donald Harrison
2015 Black Beauty Grandpa
2015 The Leisure Class Edward HBO’s Project Greenlight season 4 film
Oceanus: Act One Commander Mitch Conrad Short film
2016 The Curse of Sleeping Beauty Richard Meyers
Get A Job Lawrence Wilheimer
The Bronx Bull D. A. Bonomi
2017 9/11 Monohan
Love Locks Hugo Blanchet Hallmark TV Movie
2018 Insidious: The Last Key Christian Rainer
Abnormal Attraction Dr. Cole In post-production
2019 Itsy Bitsy Walter
Wish Man Frank Shankwitz Sr.
The Great Alaskan Race Governor Bone
More Beautiful for Having Been Broken Colin
Christmas at the Plaza Reginald Brookwater Hallmark TV movie
2020 We Still Say Grace


Year Title Role Notes
1970–1979 Insight Andy Fry/Randy King/Greg 4 episodes
1973 Love Story Jeffrey 1 episode
Break Up Himself Music comedy special for ABC
1974–1978 Police Story Victor 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 Grant Andrew Raines 2 episodes
1980 The Lathe of Heaven George Orr Television film
1981 The Wave Ben Ross
1983 Ghost Dancing Calvin Oberst Television film
1984 Tales from the Darkside Richard Hagstrom 1 episode
1985 V John Langley 3 episodes
1985–1989 Hunter Capt. Wyler/Dep. Chief Wyler 16 episodes
1990 Designing Women Reverend Eugene ‘Gene’ Chapman 1 episode
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 Limits Dr. McEnerney 1 episode
1996 Star Trek: Voyager Jareth
After Jimmy Ward “Sam” Stapp Television film
Hidden in America Dr. Michael Millerton
1996–1997 Seinfeld Wyck 3 episodes
1998 Touched by an Angel Jacob ‘Jake’ Weiss 1 episode
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1999 Vendetta Thomas Semmes Television film
1999–2000 Chicago Hope Dr. Burt Peters 2 episodes
2000–2001 The Practice Scott Wallace 9 episodes
2001 Off Season Dr. Zimmer Television film (also director)
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Special
2002 Without a Trace Paul Cartwright Pilot episode
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Graham Mandell 1 episode
Star Trek: Enterprise Menos
L.A. Law: The Movie Lawrence Diebenkorn Television film
2003 Out of the Ashes Peter Schuman
2004 Kingdom Hospital Dr. Stegman 13 episodes
JAG Dr. Morris Sperling 1 episode
2005 Numb3rs Robert Oliver
The Triangle Stan Lathem 3 episodes
Law & Order: Trial by Jury Peter Betts 1 episode
2005–2007 Close to Home Attorney Doug Hellman 13 episodes
2006 CSI: Miami Dane Daniels 1 episode
2006–2010 Lost Dr. Douglas Brooks 2 episodes
2007 The L Word Leonard Kroll 3 episodes
Battlestar Galactica Dr. Michael Robert 1 episode
2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Dr. Peter Silberman
2008–2009 Knight Rider Dr. Charles Graiman 11 episodes
2009 Criminal Minds Father Davison 1 episode
2009–2010 Ghost Whisperer Josh Bedford 5 episodes
2010 Psych Walter Snowden 1 episode
General Hospital Wilhelm von Schlagel 5 episodes
2011 Castle Lou Karnacki 1 episode
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Avery Tinsdale
Hawaii Five-0 Steven Carver
Childrens Hospital Narrator
Covert Affairs Max Langford
2011–2012 Drop Dead Diva Judge Cyrus Maxwell 3 episodes
2012 Bigfoot Sheriff Walt Gunderson Television film
Luck Hartstone 2 episodes
Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 Gabe Sharpe 1 episode
2012–2013 Last Resort Admiral Arthur Shepard 6 episodes
2014 Those Who Kill Howard Burgess 10 episodes
The Legend of Korra Lord Zuko (voice) 6 episodes
Sequestered Danny Firmin’s father 12 episodes
2014–2016 Kingdom Ron Prince 4 episodes
2015–present The Fosters Stuart Adams 5 episodes
2016 The Exorcist Pope Sebastian 1 episode
2018 Mozart in the Jungle Hesby 3 episodes
2018 Forgive Me Archbishop 1 episode
2019 The Gift of Christmas Bob Rodgers Television film
Creepshow 2 episodes
The Son Mr. Roy Endicott
Defrost: The Virtual Series Michael Garrison Television Film

External Links

Actor Bruce Davison – Wikipedia

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