Tuesday, July 01, 2008

R.I. P. Don S. Davis—Stargate SG-1’s General Hammond

It’s seems like our little comic book, sci-fi and all around entertainment blog has felt more like the obituary page of late with all of the “R.I.P.” postings we’ve passed along but FanBoyWonder was indeed saddened to learn and wished to acknowledge of the passing of veteran character actor Don S. Davis—best known as General Hammond on the series Stargate SG-1.

FanBoyWonder is a moderately interested Stargate fan generally but we always liked the General Hammond character—part Papa Bear and part Solomon but the total straight man, especially for Richard Dean Anderson’s annoying quip of the moment.

We first remember seeing him as the dad of one of the punk characters whose name we can’t recall since we long since all-but forgot about the show. Davis, of course, played a military officer, straight arrow with the rebel, good for nothing son.

The man looked like he was born in uniform. Better yet, he looked like the kind of military man you would expect and hope to find—honest, fearless, stern but fair.

We would later see him in many other bit roles of no consequence but that is both the bane and the beauty of being a character actor. With just a few exceptional roles, if the audience notices your existence, you are doing something wrong.

While it wasn’t until Stargate SG-1 that we actually learned the man’s name, when we would see Don S. Davis in a scene, we knew that he would do at least his part (and likely more that the viewer would never see) to carry the show. That’s what character actors do.

Below we post Mr. Davis’ obit thanks to GateWorld http://gateworld.net/ with our sincere condolences to the family, friends and fans of Don S. Davis. R.I.P.


Don S. Davis: 1942-2008
Monday - June 30, 2008 by Darren Sumner
With great sadness we must report that veteran actor Don S. Davis passed away on June 29, 2008. He was 65 years old.

Don co-starred on Stargate SG-1 for the show's first seven years, helping to launch the enduring science fiction franchise. Davis played Major General George Hammond, base commander and a father figure to many of the show's characters.

He is also well-known for his portrayal of Major Garland Briggs in Twin Peaks.

Off-screen, Don was beloved by the show's cast and crew. He departed the show in 2003 due to a medical condition that restricted his workload, but returned for several guest appearances on SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis in the following years. Don worked hard to improve his health, and continued to work both on screen and off until his death.

The following message was provided by Don's representative and his wife, Ruby Fleming-Davis:

‘Dear Fans and Friends of Don S. Davis,

So many of you have been touched by not only the work and art of Don S. Davis, but by the man himself, who always took the time to be with you at the appearances he loved, that it is with a tremendous sense of loss I must share with you that Don passed away from a massive heart attack on Sunday morning, June 29th.

‘On behalf of his family and wife, Ruby, we thank you for your prayers and condolences. A family memorial where Don's ashes will be scattered in the ocean will take place in a few weeks, and should you wish to, please make a donation to the
American Heart Association in Don's memory.’

Born August 4, 1942 in Aurora, Missouri and raised there, Don received a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in theater and art from Southwest Missouri State College in 1965. He then served three years on active duty in the United States Army, entering as a Second Lieutenant. He rose to the rank of Captain and was stationed in Korea before completing his required tour of active duty.

Upon leaving the army, Don began working toward a Master's degree in theater at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale, Illinois, and received his Master's degree in 1970. He taught at the University of British Columbia for a decade before returning to SIU to complete his coursework for a PhD in theater, receiving the degree in 1982.

Don's list of film and television credits is lengthy, dating back to 1982. He met Stargate co-star Richard Dean Anderson on the set of MacGyver, where Don worked as a stunt double for actor Dana Elcar.

When production on Stargate SG-1 began in 1997, the producers tapped Davis to play the base commander--originally written to be a by-the-book antagonist, but quickly softened by Don's own personality and experience.

In 2003 Don married his soul mate and the great love of his life, Ruby Fleming-Davis. The two have resided in British Columbia with their three dogs, Teto, Ming and Charley.

Don's off-screen career as an artist blossomed especially in the years since he left Stargate. A look at his Web site, DonSDavisArt.com, reveals his tremendous gifts in painting, drawing, and woodcarving.

Don's final Stargate appearance is in Stargate: Continuum, the SG-1 DVD movie that will be released July 29 in North America and August 18 in the United Kingdom. He will also appear in the forthcoming films "Vipers," "Woodshop," and "Far Cry," according to the Internet Movie Database.

Many fans of Don's work have had the opportunity to meet him in person, as he was also a regular face at fan conventions around the world. Fans learned that behind General Hammond was a Southern gentleman with a big heart, a no-nonsense attitude, and all the love and respect one could imagine.

Services for Don S. Davis will be small and private, in both Vancouver and Los Angeles. His Web sites will be updated this week, and his obituary has been published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association in Don's memory.


Anonymous Malka said...

Good words.

6:22 AM, November 10, 2008  

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