Ossie Davis: actor, director and more

He had something in him--the rich baritone and the gaze that saw all and feared nothing--that suggested God on a day full of promise and threat. OSSIE DAVIS, who died last week in Miami Beach, at 87, was an actor, playwright, film director and civil rights spokesman who invested each role with passion and purity. Born Raiford Chatman Davis (the initials R.C. became Ossie), he wrote two successful Broadway shows--Purlie Victorious, a satire of race relations, and its musical version, Purlie--and, decades later, became the patriarchal conscience of seven Spike Lee films (among them Do the Right Thing, right). In 1946,...

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