Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Robert John Davi (born June 26, 1953) is an American actor and jazz singer. He has played such roles as Vietnam veteran and Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard, the villainous Jake Fratelli in The Goonies, and Al Torres in Showgirls. However, Davi is perhaps best known for playing drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill as well as FBI Special Agent Baily Malone in the NBC television series Profiler. Classically trained as a singer, Davi launched his professional singing career in 2011 performing Frank Sinatra classics. He opened as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 23, 2012.
Davi was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, the son of Maria (née Rulli) and Sal Davi. His mother was an Italian American and his father was a native of Southern Italy; Davi spoke Italian during his childhood. He attended Seton Hall, a Catholic high school in Patchogue (Long Island), New York. He graduated from Hofstra University, the same alma mater as fellow James Bond villain Christopher Walken. Davi was drawn to Hofstra because of the school's Shakespearean 'round' theatre.
Davi made his motion picture debut in Contract On Cherry Street, in which he shared the screen with, Frank Sinatra. Since then he's continued to work with the biggest names in Hollywood – Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benicio del Toro, James Franco, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, and Roberto Benigni, among others. He's been in such movies as The Goonies, Die Hard, Showgirls, Son of the Pink Panther, and in the 1989 Bond film Licence to Kill as the villain Franz Sanchez, a South American drug lord and murderer, who was killed at the end of the film after being soaked in gasoline and set alight by Bond.
On TV, he starred as Commander Acastus Kolya on Stargate Atlantis, appeared in two-part episodes of Criminal Minds, and played Supervisory Special Agent Baily Malone of the FBI Violent Criminal Apprehesion Program / VICAP in 88 episodes of his own NBC series, Profiler. In 1989 Davi appeared as Mafia Albert Cerrico in the TV 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 Pt 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. Currently, Davi can be seen in Game of Death with Wesley Snipes.
In 2007, Davi made his directorial debut with The Dukes, a parable for today about how the current economic crisis is affecting the everyman. The story follows the members of a once successful Doo Wop group who, like most of the world, have fallen on hard times. The film is about chasing the American Dream, even when the reality of that dream is changing faster than you can run. It stars Chazz Palminteri, Robert Davi, and Peter Bogdanovich. The Dukes was acclaimed and was selected for the premiere section at the Rome Film Festival, along with other filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet, and Gavin Hood. Davi was the only first-time director in the premiere section. The film was then invited to the Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, where it received awards for best first-time director and best screenplay. Following this, The Dukes was invited to the Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival in France, amongst others.
Even as far back as high school, Davi received acclaim for his singing, being awarded first place in the prestigious New York State School Music Association’s – Solo Competition, singing Vincent Youmans’ Without A Song. As a young man, Davi studied classically under several of the top vocal teachers, Samuel Margolis and Danial Ferro of Juilliard and later, opera great Tito Gobbi. Davi did in fact damage his voice, claiming he was baritone with the heart of a tenor and had pushed too hard, too early. However, it isn't until recently that he has become successful as a singer. With a thirty-piece orchestra, Davi recorded his first album at the famous Capitol Records Building in Hollywood (where Frank Sinatra recorded on many occasions). The album contains all new arrangements by composer Nic. tenBroek; it is produced by Phil Ramone, engineered by Dan Wallin, and mixed by Al Schmitt. The album, “Davi Sings Sinatra - On The Road To Romance,” was released Oct 24th 2011.