Davis, Ossie

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Ossie Davis is an actor, playwright and director who has performed for stage, film and television, and specializes in film production relating to black culture and history.

Born in 1919 in Cogdell, Georgia, Davis attended Howard University from 1938 to 1941. His theater career began in the early 1940's with such plays to his credit as "Anna Lucasta," "No Time for Sergeants," "A Raisin in the Sun," and "Purlie Victorious." Three of the many films he acted in are "The Joe Louis Story," "The Slaves," and most recently, Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing." Davis co-scripted and co-directed "Cotton Comes to Harlem." He has been acting in television programs and been doing specials since 1951, often with his wife, the actress Ruby Dee.

Ruby Dee was born in 1923 in Cleveland, Ohio and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1945 from Hunter College. She served as an apprentice with the American Negro Theatre from 1941-1944. Her interests include writing and black history and culture. She debuted in 1943 in "South Pacific," and acted in Shakespearean plays, among others. Her films include "The Jackie Robinson Story," "St. Louis Blues," and "A Raisin in the Sun." Dee's long list of television credits include "Peyton Place," "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," and "The Fight Against Slavery."

From the description of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee drama collection, 1951-1981 (bulk 1970-1979). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122607338

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Patterson, William L. (William Lorenzo), 1890-1980. William Lorenzo Patterson papers, 1919-1979 (bulk, mid-1950s-1979). Moorland-Spingarn Resource Center
referencedIn Weston, M. Moran, 1910-. Papers, 1824-1994. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Geld, Gary. Purlie : a musical based on the play Purlie Victorious by Ossie Davis / music by Gary Geld ; lyrics by Peter Udell ; book by Ossie Davis, Philip Rose, Peter Udell ; concert adaptation by David Ives, 2005. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Davis, Ossie. Purlie victorious : or a non-confederate romp through the cotton patch / a new play by Ossie Davis. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Ewen, Frederic, 1899-. Papers, 1915-1988 (bulk 1940-1970). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Evans, Maurice, 1901-1989. Maurice Evans papers, 1934-1970. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Bread and Roses Cultural Project. National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees. 1199 Bread and Roses Cultural Project. Moe Foner, Audiocassettes, 1955-1991. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Near, Holly. Papers, 1967-1994 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Goldwyn, Samuel, 1926-. Cotton comes to Harlem, 1970 June 3. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Davis, Ossie. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee drama collection, 1951-1981 (bulk 1970-1979). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Childress, Alice. Alice Childress papers, 1937-1997. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Jackson, James E., 1914-2007. James E. Jackson and Esther Cooper Jackson papers, 1917-2004 (bulk [1937-1992]). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Kennedy, Adrienne. Papers, ca. 1954-1992. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Rogovin, Milton, 1909-2011. Milton Rogovin papers, 1928-2006 (bulk 1960-2003). Library of Congress
referencedIn Gill, Glenda Eloise. Glenda Gill collection. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Norton, William (William W.). The scalphunters : story and screenplay / by William Norton. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. Papers, 1865-1998 (inclusive), 1905-1975 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Thomas, Betty, 1948-.... Mister Dolittle [Multimédia multisupport] / Betty Thomas, réal. Hugh Lofting, aut. adapté ; Nat Mauldin, Larry levin, scénario ; Richard Gibbs, comp. ; Eddie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt... [et al.], act. ; Yves Lecoq, Jean Rochefort, Eric... [et al.], voix. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Davis, Ossie. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1964. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Thomas, Betty, 1948-.... Mister Dolittle [Multimédia multisupport] / Betty Thomas, réal. Hugh Lofting, aut. adapté ; Nat Mauldin, Larry levin, scénario ; Richard Gibbs, comp. ; Eddie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt... [et al.], act. ; Yves Lecoq, Jean Rochefort, Eric... [et al.], voix. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Recreation Council of the Memorial Recreation Forest of Eastern North Carolina. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1964. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Biberman, H. J. (Herbert J.). The slaves : [screenplay] / by Herbert J. Biberman and John O. Killens. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Ossie Davis collection, [ca. 1947-ongoing]. Museum of Performance & Design
creatorOf Robinson, Henry Morton, 1898-1961. The cardinal : [screenplay] / by Henry Morton Robinson ; screen treatment by Eugene Ling. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Mayfield, Julian, 1928-1984. Julian Mayfield papers, 1949-1984. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Emanuel, James A. James A. Emanuel papers, 1922-1995 (bulk 1960-1995). Library of Congress
referencedIn Spottswood, Stephen Gill (Bishop)., 1897-1974. Papers. 1926-1974. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn Kroll, Lucy. Lucy Kroll papers, 1908-1998 (bulk 1950-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Elisofon, Eliot. Papers, 1930-1988 (bulk, 1942-1973). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Biberman, H. J. (Herbert J.) person
associatedWith Childress, Alice. person
associatedWith Dee, Ruby. person
associatedWith Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. person
associatedWith Elisofon, Eliot. person
correspondedWith Emanuel, James A. person
associatedWith Evans, Maurice, 1901-1989. person
associatedWith Ewen, Frederic, 1899- person
associatedWith Geld, Gary. person
associatedWith Gill, Glenda Eloise. person
associatedWith Jackson, James E., 1914-2007. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Adrienne. person
associatedWith Kroll, Lucy. person
associatedWith Marshall, Paule, 1929- person
associatedWith Mayfield, Julian, 1928-1984. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Loften. person
associatedWith Near, Holly. person
associatedWith Norton, William (William W.) person
correspondedWith Patterson, William L. (William Lorenzo), 1890-1980. person
associatedWith Poitier, Sidney. person
associatedWith Recreation Council of the Memorial Recreation Forest of Eastern North Carolina. corporateBody
associatedWith Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965. person
associatedWith Robinson, Henry Morton, 1898-1961. person
correspondedWith Rogovin, Milton, 1909-2011. person
associatedWith Soyinka, Wole. person
associatedWith Spottswood, Stephen Gill (Bishop)., 1897-1974. person
associatedWith Weston, M. Moran, 1910- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Short stories, American
Motion picture plays
African American actors
African Americans in the performing arts
African American theater
Screenwriters
African American dramatists
Theater
African American motion picture producers and directors
Occupation
Actors
Function

Person

Birth 1917-12-18

Death 2005-02-04

Americans

Information

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