Robert Davi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Robert Davi
Davi performing in Long Island in August 2013
Background information
Birth nameRobert John Davi
Born(1953-06-26) June 26, 1953 (age 61)
OriginAstoria, Queens, New York
Genrestraditional pop, Great American Songbook
Occupation(s)Singer, Actor
Years active1977–present
WebsiteDavi Sings Sinatra
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert Davi
Davi performing in Long Island in August 2013
Background information
Birth nameRobert John Davi
Born(1953-06-26) June 26, 1953 (age 61)
OriginAstoria, Queens, New York
Genrestraditional pop, Great American Songbook
Occupation(s)Singer, Actor
Years active1977–present
WebsiteDavi Sings Sinatra

Robert John Davi (born June 26, 1953) is an American actor, singer, writer, and director.[1] Over the course of his acting career, Davi has performed in more than 130 films. He has played the roles of main villain and drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Profiler, as Vietnam veteran and Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard, the opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The Goonies, Hans Zarba in Son of the Pink Panther and Al Torres in Showgirls.

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 #6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice and vocal interpretations, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas, Nevada, six months after the record was released.[4]

Early life[edit]

Davi was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, the son of Maria (née Rulli) and Sal Davi.[2] His mother was an Italian American and his father was a native of Southern Italy; Davi spoke Italian during his childhood.[2] He attended Seton Hall, a Catholic high school in Patchogue, New York.[2] He has two sisters, Yvonne Davi (deceased), and Michelle (Davi) Queal. He graduated from Hofstra University, the alma mater of fellow James Bond villain Christopher Walken. Davi was drawn to Hofstra because of the University's strong drama department as well as its unique reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater.[5]

Acting career[edit]

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, James Franco, Catherine Zeta-Jones, 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.[6]

On television, he starred as Commander Acastus Kolya on Stargate Atlantis, appeared in two-part episodes of Criminal Minds, and played Supervisory Special Agent Bailey Malone of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in 88 episodes of his own NBC series, Profiler. In 1989, Davi appeared as Mafia Albert Cerrico on the television series Wiseguy, in the 10 episode Mafia arc titled Garbage Wars. He also sang in the first installment of the arc, called Le Lacrime de Amore Part I.

In 2011, Davi appeared alongside Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken in the gangster movie Kill the Irishman. The film, in which Davi played Mafia hitman Ray Ferritto, is a biopic of Danny Greene, an Irish-American mob boss who warred with the Cleveland crime family during the 1970s. Released the same year, he was also in Game of Death with Wesley Snipes. He followed up these projects with crime thriller The Iceman (2012), co-starring alongside Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and Ray Liotta.

It was announced in 2013 that Davi was cast in the upcoming film Expendables 3.

Directing career[edit]

In 2007, Davi made his directorial debut with The Dukes, a parable regarding the mid-2000 economic crisis and its impact. In addition to Davi, the film stars 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, Sidney Lumet, and Gavin Hood. Davi was the only first-time director in the premiere section. At the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, the film received awards for best first-time director and best screenplay. Later, The Dukes was invited to the Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival in France, among other festivals.

Recording career[edit]

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. However, 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."[7]

Davi began to focus again on singing in 2011, and worked with "Voice Builder" Gary Catona as he prepared to record his first album.[8] With a thirty-piece orchestra, he recorded the album at the legendary Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, where Frank Sinatra recorded on many occasions.[9] 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.[10] Jazztimes called Davi Sings Sinatra "uniformly impressive," [11] 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."[12] AllMusic noted that "Davi makes no attempt to copy Sinatra's vocal sound...Rather, he is his own singer."[13] The album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz charts.[14] Quincy Jones said: "I have never heard anyone come this close to Sinatra's sound – and still be himself. Many try, but Robert Davi has the voice, tone, the flavor and the swagger."[15]

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.[8]

In September 2013, Davi recorded a single by Nick Vallelonga called, "New York City Christmas", which was arranged by Chris Walden, performed by members the Chris Walden Big Band, and recorded and mixed at Capitol Records by Al Schmitt and Steve Genewick. It was released in November 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Davi, a devout Roman Catholic, is an outspoken conservative and often speaks at Republican gatherings. 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.[16][17] Davi also spoke at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. He is a frequent guest on Fox News's late-night satire program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.[18]

Davi's children are Sean Christian Davi (born 1981), with Jeri McBride, and Ariana Marie Davi (born April 3, 1990), Frances Davi (born 1992), and Isabella Davi and Nicholas Edward Davi (twins, born on January 11, 2001), with Christine Bolster.

Although he is frequently seen smoking cigarettes in films and on television, Davi is an avid cigar smoker.[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

For his notable contributions to the Italian community, Davi was enshrined in Toronto's Italian Walk of Fame in 2013.[19]


1977Contract on Cherry StreetMickey Sinardos, Greek hijackerTV
1978Charlie's AngelsRitchieTV Series
1979And Your Name Is JonahDickieTV
1979From Here to EternityGuardmini TV series
1979The Legend of the Golden GunWilliam QuantrillTV
1980Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking StoryHubbardTV
1982T. J. HookerJoseph "The Barber" Picartus/Tom WarfieldTV, 2 episodes
1984City HeatNino
1984The A-TeamBoyle (episode "Sheriffs of Rivertown")
1985The GooniesJake Fratelli
1985HunterSonny DunbarTV series
1986The EqualizerMichael RiegertTV series
1986Raw DealMax Keller
1987Wild ThingChopper
1988Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim AjamiSalim Ajami
1988Action JacksonTony Moretti
1988L.A. LawDominic SimonettiTV series
1988Die HardFBI Special Agent Johnson
1988TraxxAldo Palucci
1989Licence to KillFranz Sanchez
1989WiseguyAlbert CerricoTV series
1990PeacemakerDet. Sgt. Frank Ramos
1990DeceptionsJack 'Harley' Kessler
1990Maniac Cop 2Det. Sean McKinney
1990Predator 2Captain Phil Heinemann
1991Legal TenderFix Cleary
1991Under Surveillance
1991White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma ToddLucky Luciano
????FBI: The Untold StoriesDonnie BrascoTV series
1991The Taking of Beverly HillsRobert Masterson
1992Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of BlueSully
1992Center of the WebRichard Morgan
1992Illicit BehaviorLt. Matt Walker
1992Christopher Columbus: The DiscoveryMartin Pinzon
1993Maniac Cop III: Badge of SilenceDet. Sean McKinney
1993Night TrapMike Turner
1993Son of the Pink PantherHans Zarba
1993QuickMatthew Davenport
1994No ContestSergeant Crane
1994The DangerousBilly Davalos
1994Blind JusticeAlacran
1994The November MenRobert Davi
1994Cops and RobbersonsOsborn
1995Cyber VengeanceR.D. Crowley
1995VR.5Simon BuchananTV series
1995Codename: SilencerEddie Cook
1995Delta of VenusThe Collector
1995ShowgirlsAl Torres
1996Absolute AggressionR. D. Crowley
1996For Which He StandsCarlito Escalara
1995The ZoneRowdy Welles
1996An Occasional HellTrooper Larry Abbott
1997The BeneficiaryGil Potter
1998The Bad PackMcQue
1999Batman BeyondDr. Mike MorganTV series
1999My Little AssassinFrank Sturgis
1999The PretenderAgent Bailey MaloneTV series
1996ProfilerAgent Bailey MaloneTV series
2002The Sorcerer's ApprenticeMerlin/Milner
2002Verdict in BloodWade Waters
2002Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityColonel Juan Garcia Cortez
2002The 4th TenorIerra
2002The Hot ChickStan, April's Dad
2003One Last RideFather
2004Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi FleissIvan Nagy
2004Karen SiscoDentonTV series
2004Halo 2Rtas 'Vadumee (SpecOps Leader)
2005Breaking VegasNarratorTV series
2005In the MixFish
2006HuffDickinsTV series
2006Scarface: The World Is YoursAlejandro "Alex" Sosa
2004Stargate: AtlantisCommander Acastus KolyaTV series
2007The DukesDanny (also: directorial debut)
2007Halo 3Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadumee
2008An American CarolAziz
2008Burnin' UpJonas BrothersMusic video
2009American SummerHimself
2009The ButcherMurdoch
2009Magic ManSimpson
2010Spring Break '83Dean Whitter
2010MagicDr. David Ortero
2010One in the GunVincent
2010Apocalypse IslandNarrator
2010Game of DeathFrank Smith
2011DoonbySheriff Woodley
2011Kill the IrishmanRay Ferritto
2011Swamp SharkSheriff Watson
2012The IcemanLeonard Marks
2013A Long Way OffFrank
2013Blood of RedemptionHayden
2014CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationMarvin Braxton
2014The Expendables 3Goran Vata


  1. ^ "Robert Davi Awards". 2014. IMDb. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Chutkow, Paul. "Playing the Heavy Actor Robert Davi has made a career of playing tough guys with a signature cigar". Winter 96. Cigar Aficionado. 
  3. ^ "Famed Film Villain Robert Davi Sings Sinatra". December 4, 2013. ABC News (Transcribed). Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Leach, Robin. "Spirit of Sinatra returns as Robert Davi fulfills a childhood dream". February 9, 2012. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Gil de Rubio, Dave. "Doing It His Way". 2010. LongIslandPress. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  6. ^ EW Staff. "21 Most Ruthless TV/Film Drug Lords". August 11, 2013. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Wolfe, Zachary. "License to trill: The reinvention of Robert Davi". July 14, 2010. Capitol New York. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Staff. "Robert Davi’s new Christmas single "Mistletoe and Holly" to benefit The Salvation Army". December 2013. New Frontier. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Sterling, Ellen. "No Overstatement: Singer-Actor-Writer-Director Robert Davi Is A Legend in the Making". September 24, 2013. Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Truitt, Brian. "Robert Davi Sings Sinatra, Sincerely". USA Today. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Loudon, Christopher. "A Singer Turned Legend Turns Singer Again". October 24, 2011. Jazztimes. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Heckman, Don. "Don Heckman: Robert Davi sings Sinatra". October 21, 2013. Orange County Register. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Ruhlman, William. "Davi Sings Sinatra". 2011. AllMusic. 
  14. ^ Berk, Dr. Nancy. "Showbiz Analysis with Robert Davi". December 5, 2013. Parade. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Vallelonga, Nick. "His Way; Robert Davi Hits a High Note with Sinatra Tribute Read Latest Breaking News from Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!". July 2, 2013. Newsmax. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Where are they now? Bond villains". 2013. Virgin Media. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Robert Davi Backstage at the Republican National Convention on YouTube
  18. ^ "Robert Davi on 'Red Eye'". August 4, 2013. Fox News. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  19. ^ Alexander, Julia. "Four Inducted Into Little Italy's Italian Walk Of Fame". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 

External links[edit]