Clifton Davis

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Clifton Davis
Clifton Davis.jpg
Davis in 2007
BornClifton Duncan Davis
(1945-10-04) October 4, 1945 (age 69)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
OccupationActor, songwriter, singer, minister
Years active1966–present
  • Ann Taylor (m. 1981–91)
  • Monica Durant (m. 2000)
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Clifton Davis
Clifton Davis.jpg
Davis in 2007
BornClifton Duncan Davis
(1945-10-04) October 4, 1945 (age 69)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
OccupationActor, songwriter, singer, minister
Years active1966–present
  • Ann Taylor (m. 1981–91)
  • Monica Durant (m. 2000)

Clifton Duncan Davis (born October 4, 1945) is an American actor, songwriter, singer, and minister. He starred on the television shows That's My Mama and Amen. Davis also wrote several hits for The Jackson 5, including "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Lookin' Through the Windows".


Davis was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Thelma van Putten Langhorn, a nurse, and Toussaint L'Ouverture Davis, a Baptist minister.[1] He was raised in Mastic, New York. In a piece he wrote for Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, he described the racism he suffered growing up during the pre-Civil Rights Act era.[2]

Before finding fame in acting, Davis worked as a songwriter, most famously penning The Jackson 5's No. 2 hit "Never Can Say Goodbye".

Davis starred as barber Clifton Curtis in the mid-1970s television show That's My Mama with Theresa Merritt, Theodore Wilson and Ted Lange. Davis' romantic interest with songstress and Broadway performer Melba Moore led to his co-starring role on her musical variety television show.

Davis made a guest appearance on the third episode of the first season of The Bobby Vinton Show in September 1975, singing "I've Got The Music In Me" and "Never Can Say Goodbye". He successfully sang the Polish lyrics with Vinton to the show's "My Melody of Love" theme song.

A triple heart bypass survivor, he participated in the "superstars" celebrity TV sports competitions of the seventies, in addition to making several appearances on the popular 70s celebrity game show Match Game. He also appeared in the film Scott Joplin in 1977. He also made numerous appearances on several incarnations of Pyramid from the early 70s to the mid 80s.

From 1986 to 1991, he co-starred with Sherman Hemsley in the NBC sitcom Amen, which ran for four seasons. Davis released one acclaimed (and now hard to find) studio recording in 1991 on Benson Records titled Say Amen. He also played the mayor of Miami in the 1999 film Any Given Sunday.

Davis has continued his stage work, starring in Toronto and on Broadway in Aladdin, playing the Sultan of Agrabah.'[3]


Davis holds a BA in Theology from Oakwood University and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University.[4] For the last 25 years he has been an active part of Youthville, USA a children's services organization. He served as co-founder and co-pastor of Welcome Christian Center in Huntington Beach, California. Davis is a licensed minister by St. Luke Baptist Church, New York, New York. He has had an interdenominational ministry for over than 30 years. He has served as National Spokesperson and Advisory Board Chairman.[5] He is the emcee and host of The Most Soulful Sound, an annual gospel choir competition in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also hosts an annual celebrity golf tournament in Elizabeth City, NC at Elizabeth City State University, where he served as Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement. Since the end of 2005 Davis has held the position of Executive Director for Welcome America, a non-profit organization located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that produces the largest Fourth of July celebration each year in the nation.

Davis is a frequent guest host on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Davis also hosted the Gospel Superfest TV show from 2000 to 2008, which is syndicated by United Television.

Davis is the author of an autobiographical essay entitled "A Mason Dixon Memory" in which he recounts his experiences as an eighth grader dealing with prejudice on a trip to a southern state.[6]



1971A World ApartMatt Hampton1 episode
1972The Melba Moore-Clifton Davis ShowCo-hostSeries
1973Love StoryJames MonroeEpisode "A Glow of Dying Embers"
Police StoryMark Randolph
Ed Webber
"The Ho Chi Minh Trail"
"The Malflores"
1974–75That's My MamaClifton CurtisMain role (39 episodes)
1977Scott JoplinLouis ChauvinMovie
1977SuperdomeP.K. JacksonMovie
1977Vega$Leon HazlettEpisode: "The Eleventh Event"
1980The Love BoatMr. ReevesEpisode: "Invisible Maniac"
1980The Littlest HoboPhil McLeanEpisode: "Licence to Steal"
1980Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' PaigeCool Papa BellMovie
1986–91AmenRev. Reuben GregoryMain role (110 episodes)
1990–94Stellar Gospel Music AwardsCo-hostSpecials
1993The John Larroquette ShowCon ArtistEpisode: "Pros and Cons"
1996The Jamie Foxx ShowCharlesEpisode: "Seems Like Old Times"
1997Living SingleHarrison CushmoreEpisode: "Mother Inferior"
1997SparksPastor AlexanderEpisode: "It's the Gospel"
1997Malcolm & EddieLeonard LarsonEpisode: "Club Story"
1997Party of FiveMartin WilcoxEpisode: "Point of No Return"
1997Grace Under FireDr. SwansonEpisode: "Sam's Dad"
1997The SentinelPresident LemecEpisode: "Fool Me Twice"
1997The Gregory Hines ShowPauley's FatherEpisode: "Three's Not Company"
1998Any Day NowCouncilman Lyle HammondEpisode: "No Comment"
1999In the HouseTed Miller2 episodes
2000City of AngelsDr. Langston EllisEpisode: "Bride and Prejudice"
2000–08Gospel SuperfestHost
2001Lifestyle MagazineHostSeries
2002American DreamsAlvin LewisEpisode: "The Home Front"
2004Half & HalfPastor David AdamsEpisode: "The Big Practice What You Preach Episode"
2012Political AnimalsReporterEpisode: "Pilot"
2012Mr. Box OfficeJudgeEpisode: "Pilot"
2013The First FamilyClaytonEpisode: "The First Triangle"


1999Any Given SundayMayor Tyrone Smalls
2001Kingdom ComeCharles Winslow
2001Max Keeble's Big MoveSupt. Bobby 'Crazy Legs' Knebworth
2001The PaintingThomas Ayers
2004Halloweentown HighPrincipal Phil Flannagan
2006The Engagement: My Phamily BBQ 2Uncle Joe
2007CoverD.A. Simmons
2012What My Husband Doesn't KnowFranklin
2013God's Amazing Grace... Is Just A Prayer AwayWilbert Richardson


  1. ^ [http:/ Clifton Davis Biography (1945-)]
  2. ^ "Mason-Dixon Memory". Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul (pages 127-133).
  3. ^ "Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed Will Co-Star in Disney's Aladdin; Complete Cast Announced". Playbill. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Bio". 
  6. ^ A Mason-Dixon Memory

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