Thursday, December 17, 2009

RIP Charles Davis

Charles “Charlie” Davis, a professional actor and director who was prominent in the local arts scene in Thousand Oaks, has died. He was 84.

Davis, who had lived in Thousand Oaks since 1965, died at his home on Saturday, according to his family. He’s believed to have suffered a heart attack.

“He was still teaching acting classes and had taught on Saturday afternoon and was fine,” said his son-in-law, Jon Gordon. “He came home and collapsed without warning.”

Davis taught acting classes at The Actors and Singers Studio in Thousand Oaks, which he co-founded with his daughter, Maripat Davis.

Davis, who was born in the Republic of Ireland, began his acting career at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He came to the United States as a young man after being cast to play the leprechaun in a Broadway production of the musical “Finian’s Rainbow.”

Following his success in New York and in a national touring production, Davis headed west to Hollywood, where in the 1950s and early 1960s he appeared in TV shows and movies.

From the 1970s onward, his principal focus was writing, directing and producing documentary features.

In 1984, Davis, a longtime active Democrat, ran for Congress as a first-time candidate after no better-known Democrats stepped forward to challenge Republican incumbent Bobbi Fiedler in the 21st District, which at that time covered most of Ventura County. Davis won the Democratic Primary but lost to Fiedler in the November election.

Davis served on the Thousand Oaks Arts Commission and was involved with the Conejo Players Theater, where he directed a revival of “Finian’s Rainbow” in 2006 to mark the original production’s 40th anniversary.

“Charlie was always very generous with his time,” Gordon said. “He was just an absolutely engaging personality.”

Davis is survived by his wife of 59 years, actress Marilyn O’Connor, son Blaine O’Connor, his daughter Maripat Davis and son-in-law Jon Gordon, and grandson Patrick Gordon-Davis.

The family said plans are pending for a memorial service and celebration of Davis’ life.

DAVIS, Charles
Born: 1925, Ireland
Died: 12/12/2009, Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.A.

Charles Davis' westerns - actor:
Mackenzie's Raiders (TV) - 1958 (Duke Farrell)
Shotgun Slade (TV) - 1960 (Carl Breckenbridge)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1960 (Alf)
Rawhide (TV) - 1960 (Higgins)
Maverick (TV) - 1961 (hotle clerk)
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1965 (Tennyson)
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) - 1971 (Kevin Finney)

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