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Clifton Duncan Davis (born October 4, 1945) is an American actor, songwriter, singer, and pastor. Davis 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." The Supremes bought “Here Comes the Sunrise” from Davis after their Vegas performance and included that song in their “Touch” album released in 1971.
Davis in 1998
Clifton Duncan Davis
October 4, 1945
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, songwriter, singer, minister|
|Known for||That's My Mama, Amen|
Davis was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Thelma van Putten Langhorn, a nurse, and Toussaint L'Ouverture Davis, a Baptist minister. He was raised in Mastic, New York.Clifton Davis is a graduate of Pine Forge Academy. 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.
Before finding fame in acting, Davis worked as a songwriter, most famously penning The Jackson 5's No. 2 hit "Never Can Say Goodbye." He appeared on Broadway as Valentine in Galt MacDermot and John Guare's musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, based on the Shakespeare comedy of that name. He 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. Later he 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 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 1970s to the early 1990s.
From 1986 to 1991, he co-starred with Sherman Hemsley, as the Reverend Ruben Gregory, in the NBC sitcom Amen, which ran for five 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.
Davis holds a BA in Theology from Oakwood University and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University. From 1987 to 1989, he was an Associate Pastor of the Loma Linda University SDA Church in southern California. For the last twenty-five 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 30 years. He has served as National Spokesperson and Advisory Board Chairman. 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.
|1971||A World Apart||Matt Hampton||1 episode|
|1972||The Melba Moore-Clifton Davis Show||Co-host||Series|
|1973||Love Story||James Monroe||Episode "A Glow of Dying Embers"|
|Police Story||Mark Randolph
|"The Ho Chi Minh Trail"|
|1974–1975||That's My Mama||Clifton Curtis||Main role (39 episodes)|
|1977||Scott Joplin||Louis Chauvin||Movie|
|1977||Vega$||Leon Hazlett||Episode: "The Eleventh Event"|
|1978||Cindy||Captain Joe Prince||Movie|
|1980||The Love Boat||Mr. Reeves||Episode: "Invisible Maniac"|
|1980||The Littlest Hobo||Phil McLean||Episode: "Licence to Steal"|
|1980||Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige||Cool Papa Bell||Movie|
|1980||The Night the City Screamed||Arnold Clements||Movie|
|1986–1991||Amen||Reverend Reuben Gregory||Main role (110 episodes)|
|1989||Dream Date||Bill Fairview||Movie|
|1990–1994||Stellar Gospel Music Awards||Co-host||Specials|
|1993||The John Larroquette Show||Con Artist||Episode: "Pros and Cons"|
|1996||The Jamie Foxx Show||Charles||Episode: "Seems Like Old Times"|
|1997||Living Single||Harrison Cushmore||Episode: "Mother Inferior"|
|1997||Sparks||Pastor Alexander||Episode: "It's the Gospel"|
|1997||Malcolm & Eddie||Leonard Larson||Episode: "Club Story"|
|1997||Party of Five||Martin Wilcox||Episode: "Point of No Return"|
|1997||Grace Under Fire||Dr. Swanson||Episode: "Sam's Dad"|
|1997||The Sentinel||President Lemec||Episode: "Fool Me Twice"|
|1997||The Gregory Hines Show||Pauley's Father||Episode: "Three's Not Company"|
|1998||Any Day Now||Councilman Lyle Hammond||Episode: "No Comment"|
|1999||In the House||Ted Miller||2 episodes|
|2000||City of Angels||Dr. Langston Ellis||Episode: "Bride and Prejudice"|
|2002||American Dreams||Alvin Lewis||Episode: "The Home Front"|
|2004||Half & Half||Pastor David Adams||Episode: "The Big Practice What You Preach Episode"|
|2012||Political Animals||Reporter||Miniseries; episode: "Pilot"|
|2012||Mr. Box Office||Judge||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2013||The First Family||Clayton||Episode: "The First Triangle"|
|2015–present||Madam Secretary||Ephraim Ware, Director of National Intelligence||Recurring role|
|2017||Iron Fist||Lawrence Wilkins||Recurring role|
|2017||The Good Fight||Anthony Spiegel||Episode: "Not So Grand Jury"|
|2018||New Amsterdam||Pierre Pampil||Episode: "Rituals"|
|2018||Blue Bloods||Inspector Azoulay||Episode: "Mind Games"|
|1972||Together for Days||Gus|
|1974||Lost in the Stars||Absalom|
|1999||Any Given Sunday||Mayor Tyrone Smalls|
|2001||Kingdom Come||Charles Winslow|
|2001||Max Keeble's Big Move||Supt. Bobby 'Crazy Legs' Knebworth|
|2001||The Painting||Thomas Ayers|
|2004||Halloweentown High||Principal Phil Flannagan|
|2006||The Engagement: My Phamily BBQ 2||Uncle Joe|
|2012||What My Husband Doesn't Know||Franklin|
|2013||God's Amazing Grace... Is Just A Prayer Away||Wilbert Richardson|
- "Mason-Dixon Memory". Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul (pages 127-133).
- "Two Gentlemen of Verona Broadway @ St. James Theatre - Tickets and Discounts - Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
- "Mansion (Two Gentlemen Of Verona/1971 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
- baydog (17 December 2006). "Ted Lange And Clifton Davis". Retrieved 12 June 2018 – via YouTube.
- "Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed Will Co-Star in Disney's Aladdin; Complete Cast Announced". playbill.com. Playbill. 16 September 2013. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- A Mason-Dixon Memory Archived 2006-09-08 at the Wayback Machine