Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Bruce Davison (born June 28, 1946) is an American actor and director. Davison is well known for his starring role in the cult horror film Willard (1971), as well as his Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance in Longtime Companion (1989). He featured prominently in the X-Men film franchise - through X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003) - as antagonist Senator Robert Kelly.
More recently, Davison appeared in Fred Schepisi's Words and Pictures (2013), had a recurring role on ABC's The Fosters (2015-2016) and shares the screen with Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick in Get a Job (2016).
Davison was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Marian E. (née Holmes), a secretary, and Clair W. Davison, a musician, architect, and draftsman for the Army Engineers. His parents divorced when he was three years old. He was raised by his mother, and also spent weekends with his father. He graduated in 1964 at Marple Newtown Senior High School, and entered Penn State as an art major but stumbled into acting when he accompanied a friend to an audition. He attended NYU's Graduate Acting Program, graduating in 1969.
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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 opposite 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 opposite 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 ultimately devote as much effort to the war on AIDS as its wars against each other. Davison went on to appear 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 LA 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 as Senator Robert Kelly in the X-Men movie franchise. Though his character died in the first film, Davison appeared in X2 as a shapeshifting impostor of Kelly. 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 the CBS drama Close to Home.
In 2001, Davison directed the TV film Off Season, which starred his Lovelife co-star Sherilyn Fenn, Rory Culkin, Hume Cronyn, and Adam Arkin. In 2007, Davison returned to the big screen, playing Eric O'Neill's father 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. 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". The next year, he appeared in Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem (2012). 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 will star as Dr. Stanley Cole in the comedy/fantasy "Abnormal Attraction".
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.
|1970||The Strawberry Statement||Simon|
|1971||Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me||Fitzgore|
|1972||The Jerusalem File||David|
|1972||Ulzana's Raid||Lt. Garnett DeBuin|
|1976||Grand Jury||Bobby Allen|
|1976||Mother, Jugs & Speed||Leroy|
|1977||Short Eyes||Clark Davis|
|1978||Brass Target||Col. Robert Dawson|
|1978||Deadman's Curve||Dean Torrence||Television film|
|1978||Summer of My German Soldier||Anton Reiker||Television film|
|1978||Mourning Becomes Electra||Orin Mannon||Television film|
|1979||The Lathe of Heaven||George Orr||Television film|
|1979||The Gathering||George||Television film|
|1981||The Wave||Ben Ross||Television film|
|1984||Crimes of Passion||Donny Hopper|
|1985||Spies Like Us||Ruby|
|1986||The Ladies Club||Richard Harrison|
|1987||Wheels of Terror||Corporal Joseph Porta||aka The Misfit Brigade|
|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—Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
|1991||Steel and Lace||Albert Morton|
|1992||Desperate Choices: To Save My Child||Richard Robbins||Television film|
|1992||Live! From Death Row||Laurence Dvorak||Television film|
|1993||A Mother's Revenge||Bill Sanders||Television film|
|1993||Short Cuts||Howard Finnigan||Golden Globe Award for Best Ensemble Cast|
|1993||Six Degrees of Separation||Larkin|
|1995||Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog||John McCormick|
|1995||The Cure||Dr. Jensen|
|1995||The Baby-Sitters Club||Watson Brewer|
|1996||It's My Party||Rodney Bingham|
|1996||Grace of My Heart||John Murray|
|1996||After Jimmy||Ward "Sam" Stapp||Television film|
|1996||The Crucible||Reverend Samuel Parris|
|1996||Hidden in America||Dr. Michael Millerton||Television film|
|1998||Apt Pupil||Richard Bowden|
|1999||At First Sight||Dr. Charles Aaron|
|1999||Vendetta||Thomas Semmes||Television film|
|2000||The King Is Alive||Ray|
|2000||X-Men||Senator Robert Kelly|
|2001||Summer Catch||Rand Parrish|
|2001||Off Season||Dr. Zimmer||Television film (also director)
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special
|2002||L.A. Law: The Movie||Lawrence Diebenkorn||Television film|
|2002||High Crimes||Brigadier General Bill Marks|
|2003||X2||Senator Robert Kelly|
|2003||Runaway Jury||Durwood Cable|
|2003||Out of the Ashes||Peter Schuman||Television film|
|2005||Hate Crime||Pastor Boyd|
|2005||8mm 2||Ambassador Harrington|
|2006||The Dead Girl||Leah's father|
|2008||The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice||Professor Lazlo / Vlad|
|2009||MegaFault||Dr. Mark Rhodes|
|2009||Christmas Angel||Nick Anderson|
|2009||A Golden Christmas||Rod|
|2010||Titanic II||James Maine|
|2010||Camp Hell||Fr. Phineas McAllister|
|2011||Munger Road||Chief Kirkhoven|
|2011||Earth's Final Hours||Rothman|
|2011||Elwood||Congressman Barber||Short film|
|2012||Return of the Killer Shrews||Jerry Farrell|
|2012||Bigfoot||Sheriff Walt Henderson||Television film|
|2012||The Lords of Salem||Francis Matthias|
|2013||Saving Lincoln||William H. Seward|
|2013||Words and Pictures||Walt|
|2014||Persecuted||Senator Donald Harrison|
|2015||The Leisure Class||HBO's Project Greenlight season 4 film|
|2015||Oceanus: Act One||Commander Mitch Conrad||Short Film|
|2016||The Curse of Sleeping Beauty||Richard|
|2016||Get A Job||Lawrence Wilheimer|
|2016||The Bronx Bull||D. A. Bonomi|
|2016||Abnormal Attraction||Dr. Cole||Fuzz on the Lens Productions
|2018||Oceanus: Odyssey One||Commander Mitch Conrad||Post-production|
|1973||Love Story||Jeffrey||Episode "Time For Love"|
|1974-1978||Police Story||2 episodes|
|1979||Lou Grant||Andrew Raines||2 episodes|
|1984||Tales from the Darkside||Richard Hagstrom||Episode: "The Word Processor of the Gods"|
|1985||V||John Langley||3 episodes|
|1985-1989||Hunter||Capt. Wyler/Dep. Chief Wyler||16 episodes|
|1990||Designing Women||Reverend Eugene 'Gene' Chapman||Episode: "Have Faith"|
|1991-1993||Harry and the Hendersons||George Henderson||72 episodes|
|1995||The Outer Limits||Dr. McEnerney||Episode: "White Light Fever"|
|1996||Star Trek: Voyager||Jareth||Episode: "Remember"|
|1998||Touched by an Angel||Jacob 'Jake' Weiss||Episode: "Elijah"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
|1999-2000||Chicago Hope||Dr. Burt Peters||2 episodes|
|2000-2001||The Practice||Scott Wallace||9 episodes|
|2002||Without a Trace||Paul Cartwright||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2002||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Graham Mandell||Episode: "Waste"|
|2002||Star Trek: Enterprise||Menos||Episode: "The Seventh"|
|2004||Kingdom Hospital||Dr. Stegman||13 episodes|
|2004||JAG||Dr. Morris Sperling||Episode: "The Man on the Bridge"|
|2005||Numb3rs||Robert Oliver||Episode: "Sacrifice"|
|2005||The Triangle||Stan Lathem||3 episodes|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Peter Betts||Episode: "Baby Boom"|
|2005-2007||Close to Home||Attorney Doug Hellman||13 episodes|
|2006||CSI: Miami||Dane Daniels||Episode "Dead Air"|
|2006-2010||LOST||Dr. Douglas Brooks||2 episodes|
|2007||The L Word||Leonard Kroll||3 episodes|
|2007||Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series)||Dr. Michael Robert||Episode: "The Woman King"|
|2008||Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles||Dr. Peter Silberman||Episode: "The Demon Hand"|
|2008-2009||Knight Rider||Dr. Charles Graiman||11 episodes|
|2009||Criminal Minds||Father Davison||Episode: "Demonology"|
|2009-2010||Ghost Whisperer||Josh Bedford||5 episodes|
|2010||Psych||Walter Snowden||Episode: "Think Tank"|
|2010||General Hospital||Wilhelm von Schlagel||5 episodes|
|2011||Castle||Lou Karnacki||Episode: "Law & Murder"|
|2011||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Avery Tinsdale||Episode: "Father of the Bride"|
|2011||Hawaii Five-0||Steven Carver||Episode: "Ua Lawe Wale"|
|2011||Childrens Hospital||Narrator||Episode: "Children's Hospital: A Play in Three Acts"|
|2011||Covert Affairs||Max Langford||Episode: "Horse to Water"|
|2011-2012||Drop Dead Diva||Judge Cyrus Maxwell||3 episodes|
|2012||Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23||Gabe Sharpe||Episode: "Whatever It Takes..."|
|2012-2013||Last Resort||Admiral Arthur Shepard||6 episodes|
|2014||Those Who Kill||Howard Burgess||10 episodes|
|2014||The Legend of Korra||Lord Zuko||6 episodes|
|2014||Sequestered||Danny Firmin's father||12 episodes|
|2014||Kingdom||Lisa's father||Episode: "Eat Your Own Cooking"|
|2015||The Fosters||Stuart Adams||Recurring Role|