Robert Davi

Last updated
Robert Davi
2016-02-01 Robert Davi (5).jpg
Davi in February 2016
Born
Robert John Davi

(1951-06-26) June 26, 1951 (age 69)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • singer
  • writer
  • director
Years active1977–present
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
    Jeri McBride
    (m. 1980;div. 1990)
      Christine Bolster
      (m. 1990;div. 2019)
        Diana Davi
        (m. 2019)
Children6
Musical career
Genres Traditional Pop, Great American Songbook
InstrumentsVocals
Website Davi Sings Sinatra

Robert John Davi (born June 26, 1951) is an American actor, singer, writer, and director. [1] Over the course of his acting career, Davi has performed in more than 130 films. Among his most known roles are opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The Goonies (1985), Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard (1988), James Bond villain Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill (1989), police deputy chief Phil Heinemann in Predator 2 (1990) and strip club manager Al Torres in Showgirls (1995). On television, he portrayed FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Profiler (1996–2000).

Contents

Classically trained as a singer, Davi launched his professional singing career in 2011. [2] [3] His first album, Davi Sings Sinatra - On The Road To Romance, hit No. 6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice and vocal interpretations, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian Las Vegas, six months after the record was released. [4]

In 2016, Davi replaced the late Jerry Doyle as radio host for a nationally syndicated radio program on Talk Radio Network. [5]

Early life

Davi was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, the son of Maria (née Rulli) and Sal Davi. [2] His mother was an Italian American whose family came from Nusco, Avellino, Campania and his father was from Torretta, Palermo, Sicily. [6]

Davi spoke Italian during his childhood. [2] He attended Seton Hall, a Roman Catholic high school in Patchogue, New York. [2] He has two sisters, Yvonne Davi (deceased), and Mrs. Michelle Queal. He graduated from Hofstra University, which he attended due to that university's strong drama department as well as its unique reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. [7] Davi also studied with legendary acting coach Stella Adler when he moved to Manhattan. [8]

Film career

Acting career

Davi made his motion picture debut in Contract On Cherry Street , in which he shared the screen with Frank Sinatra. He subsequently worked with Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benicio del Toro, Bruce Willis, and Roberto Benigni, among others. He has appeared in movies including The Goonies , Die Hard , Showgirls , Son of the Pink Panther , and in the Bond film Licence to Kill (1989) as the villain Franz Sanchez, a South American drug lord and murderer. [9]

In 2014, Davi appeared as Goran Vata in The Expendables 3 . [10]

In 2015, Davi appeared in a music video for Bob Dylan's recording of "The Night They Called It A Day", from Dylan's album Shadows In The Night , a selection of songs which had been recorded by Frank Sinatra. Rolling Stone suggested that Davi's role in the video may be a nod towards Davi's having made his acting debut alongside Sinatra in the crime film Contract on Cherry Street , and Davi's release of his own album of Sinatra covers. [11]

In 2015, he interpreted Gabriele Tinti's poetry giving voice to the Boxer at Rest at the Getty Museum. [12]

Directing career

Davi with Stephen Dorff and Michael Shannon at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival RobertDaviStephenDorffMichaelShannonTIFFSept2012.jpg
Davi with Stephen Dorff and Michael Shannon at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

In 2007, Davi made his directorial debut with The Dukes , a parable regarding the mid-2000 economic crisis and its impact. The film starred himself, Chazz Palminteri, and Peter Bogdanovich. The Dukes was selected for the premiere section at the Rome Film Festival, along with films by Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, and Sidney Lumet. Davi was the only first-time director in the premiere section. [13] The film was screened internationally and won awards at Queens International Film Festival, WorldFest Houston  [ tr ], Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival, and International Festival of comedy film of Alpe d'Huez  [ fr ]. [14]

Recording career

In high school, Davi was praised for his singing, and auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera after being awarded first place at the prestigious New York State School Music Association's Solo Competition, where he sang Vincent Youman's "Without A Song". He subsequently received classical training with top vocal teachers, Samuel Margolis and Danial Ferro of Juilliard and Tito Gobbi. Davi damaged his voice, and later explained that he was a baritone with the "heart of a tenor and had pushed too hard, too early." [15]

Davi began to focus again on singing in 2011, and worked with "Voice Builder" Gary Catona as he prepared to record his first album. [16]

With a thirty-piece orchestra, he recorded the album at the legendary Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, where Frank Sinatra recorded on many occasions. [17]

The album, which featured new arrangements by composer Nic. tenBroek, was produced by Phil Ramone, engineered by Dan Wallin, and mixed by the legendary Al Schmitt. The album, Davi Sings Sinatra -- On The Road To Romance, was released October 24, 2011, and received significant attention from the media, garnering positive reviews. [18] Jazztimes called Davi Sings Sinatra "uniformly impressive", [19] and critic Don Heckman wrote in the Orange County Register that "there are, of course, dozens of Sinatra imitators and simulators. But what Davi does is a whole different matter. A tribute? Yes, indeed; all that and more." [20] AllMusic noted that "Davi makes no attempt to copy Sinatra's vocal sound ... Rather, he is his own singer." [21] The album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz charts. [22]

In December 2012, Davi appeared along with Roger Cicero in the French/German Arte TV program Durch die Nacht mit … The episode was shot in the Little Italy area of New York City and featured conversation between Cicero and Davi and solos of Sinatra standards by both performers. In December 2013, Davi released a Christmas single, "Mistletoe and Holly", with all proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army. [16]

Davi has lent his voice to political ads, including Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" attack ad, "Hot Air: The Movie", and others produced by Republican media consultant Fred Davis. [23]

Robert Davi was chosen by the United Nations to celebrate the Transformative Power of Music at the General Assembly in New York, in June 2015 - and again for the 70 Anniversary Celebration of the UN in September, 2015. [24]

Davi was chosen to tribute SINATRA's 100th birthday for the July 4th PBS SPECIAL; it was watched by 500,000 people outside the Capitol Building in DC and 15 million viewers. [24]

Davi was also the guest singer on the Italian version of TV program "The Voice". [24]

Personal life

Davi is a devout Roman Catholic.

He is an outspoken political conservative, often speaking at Republican Party gatherings. [25] He has been invited to comment on numerous political shows and backed John McCain during his presidential campaign. He narrated several film montages that aired during the 2008 Republican National Convention. [26] [27] Davi has spoken at numerous Conservative Political Action Conferences in Washington, D.C. He was a frequent guest on Fox News's late-night satire program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld . [28] Davi endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and again in 2020. [29]

Awards and honors

For his notable contributions to the Italian community, Davi was enshrined in Toronto's Italian Walk of Fame in 2013. [30]

Selected filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1977 Contract on Cherry Street Mickey Sinardos, Greek HijackerTV Film
1978 Charlie's Angels RitchieTV Series
1979 From Here to Eternity GuardTV Miniseries
The Legend of the Golden Gun William QuantrillTV Film
1982 St. Elsewhere Man In restaurantTV Series
T. J. Hooker Joe 'The Barber' Picartus / Tom WarfieldTV Series
1983-1984 The Fall Guy TV Series
1984 City Heat Nino
The A-Team Boyle (episode "Sheriffs of Rivertown")TV Series
1985 The Goonies Jake Fratelli
Hunter 'Sonny' DunbarTV Series
1986 The Equalizer Michael RiegertTV series
Raw Deal Max Keller
1987 Wild Thing 'Chopper'
1988 Action Jackson Tony Moretti
L.A. Law Dominic SimonettiTV Series
Die Hard FBI Special Agent Johnson
Traxx Aldo Palucci
1989 Licence to Kill Franz Sanchez
Wiseguy Albert CerricoTV Series
1990 Peacemaker Sergeant Frank Ramos
Deceptions Jack 'Harley' Kessler
Maniac Cop 2 Detective Sean McKinney
Predator 2 Deputy Chief Phil Heinemann
Amazon Dan
1991 White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano
The Taking of Beverly Hills Robert Masterson
1992 Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue 'Sully' Sullivan
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery Martin Pinzon
1993 Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence Detective Sean McKinney
Night Trap Mike Turner
Son of the Pink Panther Hans Zarba
FBI: The Untold Stories Donnie Brasco TV Series
1994 No Contest Sergeant Crane
Blind Justice Alacran
Cops and Robbersons Horace Osborn
1995 VR.5 Simon BuchananTV Series
Delta of Venus The Collector
Showgirls Al Torres
1996 An Occasional Hell State Trooper Abbott
Profiler Agent MaloneTV Series
1998 The Bad Pack McQue
1999 Batman Beyond Dr. Mike MorganTV Series
The Pretender Agent Bailey MaloneTV Series
2001 Soulkeeper Mallion
2002 The Sorcerer's Apprentice Merlin / Milner
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez Video Game
The 4th Tenor Lerra
The Hot Chick Stan, April's Dad
Disney's PK: Out of the Shadows ZondagVideo Game
2003 One Last Ride Father
2004 Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss Ivan Nagy
Karen Sisco DentonTV Series
Halo 2 Rtas 'Vadumee (SpecOps Leader)Video Game
Stargate: Atlantis Commander Acastus Kolya TV Series
2005 Breaking Vegas Narrator TV Series
In the Mix Fish
2006 Huff DickinsTV Series
Scarface: The World Is Yours Alejandro 'Alex' SosaVideo Game
2007 The Dukes Danny (also: Directorial Debut)
Halo 3 Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadumee Video Game
2008 An American Carol Aziz
Burnin' Up Jonas Brothers Music Video
2009 American Summer Himself
The Butcher Murdoch
2010 Magic Man Simpson
Spring Break '83Dean Whitter
Apocalypse Island Narrator
Game of Death Frank Smith
Criminal Minds Detective KurzbardTV series
2011 Kill the Irishman Ray Ferritto
Swamp Shark Sheriff Watson
2012 The Iceman Leo Merks
2013 Doonby Sheriff Woodley
Blood of Redemption Hayden
2014 Black Rose Captain Frank Dalano
A Long Way Off Frank
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Marvin Braxton
The Expendables 3 Goran Vata
2015 Sicilian Vampire Salvatore 'Big Sal'
Hell's Kitchen HimselfReality TV Series
2016 Criminal Admiral LanceUncredited
2018Fishing for GiantsNarratorTV Series
2019 Mob Town Vito Genovese
2019-2020Paper EmpireLawrence FintchTV Series
2020 Roe v. Wade William J. Brennan Jr.
2022 Reagan Leonid Brezhnev Post-production

Related Research Articles

Frank Sinatra American singer and actor

Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer and actor who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

Nancy Sinatra American singer

Nancy Sandra Sinatra is an American singer and actress. She is the elder daughter of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra, and is widely known for her 1965 signature hit "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'".

Dean Martin American actor, singer, and comedian

Dean Martin was an American singer, actor, and comedian. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed "The King of Cool".

Bobby Troup American actor and musician

Robert William Troup Jr. was an American actor, jazz pianist, singer, and songwriter. He wrote the song "Route 66" and acted in the role of Dr. Joe Early with his wife Julie London in the television program Emergency! in the 1970s.

Frank Sinatra Jr. American singer, songwriter, and conductor (1944–2016)

Francis Wayne Sinatra, professionally known as Frank Sinatra Jr., was an American singer, songwriter, actor, and conductor.

Theme from <i>New York, New York</i> 1977 single by Liza Minnelli

"Theme from New York, New York" is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli. It remains one of the best-known songs about New York City. In 2004 it finished #31 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American Cinema.

<i>In the Wee Small Hours</i> 1955 studio album by Frank Sinatra

In the Wee Small Hours is the ninth studio album by American vocalist Frank Sinatra. It was released in April 1955 by Capitol and produced by Voyle Gilmore with arrangements by Nelson Riddle. All the songs on the album deal with themes such as loneliness, introspection, lost love, failed relationships, depression, and night life. The cover artwork reflects these themes, portraying Sinatra on an eerie and deserted street at night awash in blue-tinged street lights. In the Wee Small Hours has been called one of the first concept albums.

Brad Dexter American actor

Brad Dexter was an American actor and film producer. He is known for tough-guy and western roles, including the 1960 film The Magnificent Seven (1960), and producing several films for Sidney J. Furie such as Lady Sings the Blues. He is also known for a short marriage to Peggy Lee, a friendship with Marilyn Monroe and for saving Frank Sinatra from drowning. Dexter's tough-guy roles contrasted with his easygoing and friendly real-life personality.

Charles Calello

Charles Calello is an American singer, composer, conductor, arranger, and record producer born in Newark, New Jersey. Calello attended Newark Arts High School and the Manhattan School of Music, in New York City. His track record of successfully collaborating with various artists to produce or arrange Billboard hit songs led to his nickname in the industry as the "Hit Man".

"September Song" is an American standard popular song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. It was introduced by Walter Huston in the 1938 Broadway musical production Knickerbocker Holiday. After being used in the 1950 film September Affair, the song has been recorded by numerous singers and instrumentalists. It was also used during screen credits in the British television series May to December, the name of which quotes the opening line of the song's main theme.

Frank Sinatra discography artist discography

American vocalist Frank Sinatra recorded 59 studio albums and 297 singles in his solo career, spanning 54 years. Sinatra signed with Columbia Records in 1943; his debut album The Voice of Frank Sinatra was released in 1946. Sinatra would achieve greater success with Capitol and Reprise Records, the former of which he released his final two albums on—Duets and Duets II. Eight compilation albums under Sinatra's name were released in his lifetime, with more albums released following his death in 1998.

"High Hopes" is a popular song first popularized by Frank Sinatra, with music written by James Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced by Sinatra and child actor Eddie Hodges in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head, was nominated for a Grammy, and won an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 32nd Academy Awards.

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) 1966 song by Cher

"Bang Bang " is the second single by American singer-actress Cher from her second album, The Sonny Side of Chér. Written by her then-husband Sonny Bono and released in 1966, the song reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a single week, eventually becoming one of Cher's biggest-selling singles of the 1960s.

Roger Cicero

Roger Marcel Cicero Ciceu was a German jazz and pop musician.

Frank Sinatras recorded legacy

Frank Sinatra's musical career began in the swing era in 1935, and ended in 1995, although he did briefly retire in 1971, before returning to music in 1973. Sinatra is one of the most influential music artists of the 20th century, and has sold 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all-time. Rock critic Robert Christgau called Sinatra "the greatest singer of the 20th century". In addition to his music career, Sinatra was also a successful film actor, having won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Private Angelo Maggio in From Here to Eternity (1953).

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He has twice won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album: first in 2014 for Liquid Spirit, and then again in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley.

Mistletoe and Holly 1957 single by Frank Sinatra

"Mistletoe and Holly" is a 1957 Christmas song recorded and co-written by Frank Sinatra. The song was released as a single on Capitol Records.

Deana Martin American singer and actress (born 1948)

Deana Martin is an American singer and actress. She is the daughter of singer Dean Martin.

<i>Shadows in the Night</i> 2015 album by Bob Dylan

Shadows in the Night is the 36th studio album by Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records on February 3, 2015. The album consists of covers of traditional pop standards made famous by Frank Sinatra, chosen by Dylan. Speaking of his intention behind the album, Dylan stated:

I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way. They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.

<i>Isnt It Romantic: The Standards Album</i> 2005 studio album by Johnny Mathis

Isn't It Romantic: The Standards Album is an album by the American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released on February 1, 2005, by Columbia Records. In an interview that year with NPR's Ed Gordon, the singer describes a conversation he had with record company executives: "They said, 'We want you to sing the most popular songs from the American musical theater that you haven't sung in the past.'... I sat down and finally came up with a list of nine songs that I hadn't recorded that were very familiar to the public."

References

  1. Paul, Louis (2007). Tales from the Cult Film Trenches. McFarland & Company. p. 53. ISBN   9780786429943.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Chutkow, Paul (1996). "Playing the Heavy Actor Robert Davi has made a career of playing tough guys with a signature cigar". Cigar Aficionado.
  3. "Famed Film Villain Robert Davi Sings Sinatra". ABC News. December 4, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  4. Leach, Robin (February 9, 2012). "Spirit of Sinatra returns as Robert Davi fulfills a childhood dream". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  5. "Actor Robert Davi to Replace Jerry Doyle". Radio Ink. 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  6. "Robert Davi sul palco di #TVOI" (in Italian). thevoiceofitaly.rai.it. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  7. Gil de Rubio, Dave (2010). "Doing It His Way". LongIslandPress. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  8. "Buffalo Niagara film fest centers on Niagara Falls for a change!". Niagara Falls Reporter.
  9. EW Staff (August 11, 2013). "21 Most Ruthless TV/Film Drug Lords". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  10. Lawton, Adam (November 5, 2013). "'License To Kill' Villain Robert Davi Discusses His Role In 'The Expendables 3' And Reflect On 'The Goonies'". Media Mikes. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  11. Kreps, Daniel (March 2, 2015). "Watch Bob Dylan Navigate a Bloody Love Triangle in New Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  12. "The boxer". www.letteratura.rai.it/.
  13. "Commentary: After 70 films as actor Robert Davi directs his first" . Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  14. The Dukes (Awards), 2008-11-14, retrieved 2016-08-13
  15. Wolfe, Zachary (July 14, 2010). "License to trill: The reinvention of Robert Davi". Capitol New York. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  16. 1 2 Staff (December 2013). "Robert Davi's new Christmas single "Mistletoe and Holly" to benefit The Salvation Army". Cision. Archived from the original on 2011-12-03. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  17. Sterling, Ellen (September 24, 2013). "No Overstatement: Singer-Actor-Writer-Director Robert Davi Is A Legend in the Making". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  18. Truitt, Brian (October 27, 2011). "Robert Davi Sings Sinatra, Sincerely". USA Today. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  19. Loudon, Christopher (October 24, 2011). "A Singer Turned Legend Turns Singer Again". Jazztimes. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  20. Heckman, Don (October 21, 2013). "Don Heckman: Robert Davi sings Sinatra". Orange County Register. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  21. Ruhlman, William (2011). "Davi Sings Sinatra". AllMusic.
  22. Berk, Dr. Nancy (December 5, 2013). "Showbiz Analysis with Robert Davi". Parade. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  23. Gilson, Dave. "Demon Sheep Ad Man Tells All". Mother Jones. Mother Jones. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  24. 1 2 3 Serran, Paul. "Put-A-Name-To-That-Face-Excellence-And-Swagger-In-The-Work-Of-Movie-Icon-Robert-Davi". Artvoice. Artvoice. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  25. "License to trill: The reinvention of Robert Davi". Politico. 14 July 2010.
  26. "Where are they now? Bond villains". Virgin Media. 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  27. Robert Davi Backstage at the Republican National Convention on YouTube
  28. "Robert Davi on 'Red Eye'". Fox News. August 4, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  29. Lee, Chris (March 23, 2016). "Here Are All of the D-List Celebrities Endorsing Donald Trump". Fortune. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  30. Alexander, Julia (June 15, 2013). "Four Inducted Into Little Italy's Italian Walk Of Fame". Toronto Sun. Retrieved May 6, 2014.