Ossie Davis - Famous Poet

Ossie Davis Net Worth


At the time of his death in 2005, Ossie Davis, the famous American actor, had a net worth of $2 million that still stands as a testament to his versatile legacy of several hundred roles, several best-selling books, and countless civil rights activities that would continue influencing generations to come.

Key facts:

Here are 5 key facts about Ossie Davis:
  • Ossie Davis was an American actor, director, poet, author, playwright, and civil rights activist.
  • He had more than 100 acting credits to his name on Broadway, movies, and television.
  • Ossie Davis starred in notable films such as "Malcolm X," "School Daze," and "Grumpy Old Men."
  • He won a Daytime Emmy Award and a Grammy Award.
  • Ossie Davis married actress Ruby Dee in 1948 and had three children together.

Basic Information About Ossie Davis

CategoryCelebrities β€Ί Actors
ProfessionsActor, Poet, Playwright, Screenwriter, Film Director, Writer
Net worth$2,000,000
Date of birth1917-12-18
Place of birthCogdell
Date of death2005-02-04 (aged 87)
NationalityUnited States of America
Curiosities and TrademarksDeep commanding voice
SpouseRuby Dee - (9 DecemberΒ 1948 - 4 FebruaryΒ 2005)Β (his death)Β (3 children)
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Social Mediaβ†—οΈŽ Wikipedia β†—οΈŽ IMDb

What Movie Awards did Ossie Davis win?


Golden Globe

Golder Raspberry


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Ossie Davis awards

Award Name State Movie / Series Name Year
Primetime Emmy - Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesNomineeThe L Word2005
Image Award - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesWinnerPromised Land1999
Image Award - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesNomineeThe Client1996

Ossie Davis roles

Movie / Series Role
Do the Right ThingDa Mayor
Malcolm XEulogy Performer (voice)
DinosaurYar (voice)
The ClientHarry Roosevelt
Grumpy Old MenChuck
Doctor DolittleArcher Dolittle
School DazeCoach Odom
Joe Versus the VolcanoMarshall
Bubba Ho-TepJack
She Hate MeJudge Buchanan
Jungle FeverThe Good Reverend Doctor Purify
12 O'Clock HighMajor Glenn Luke 1 episode, 1966
JAGTerrence Minnerly 1 episode, 2003
Evening ShadePonder Blue 99 episodes, 1990-1994
The L WordMelvin Porter 4 episodes, 2004-2005
Reading RainbowSelf 1 episode, 1994
The FugitiveLt. Johnny Gaines 1 episode, 1966
Promised LandErasmus Jones 10 episodes, 1996-1998
Love, American Style(segment "Love and High Spirits") 1 episode, 1973
CosbyFred 1 episode, 1999
Eyes on the PrizeSelf 2 episodes, 1987-1990
American ExperienceNarrator / ... 2 episodes, 1993-1994
The Name of the GameKubani 1 episode, 1969
The NursesDr. Farmer 1 episode, 1964
The Oprah Winfrey ShowSelf 1 episode, 1989
American PlayhouseWriter
Run for Your LifeDave Corbett / ... 3 episodes, 1966-1967
Hawaii Five-ORamon Borelle 1 episode, 1974

Ossie Davis's Quotes

  • College ain't so much where you been as how you talk when you get back.
  • Struggle is strengthening. Battling with evil gives us the power to battle evil even more.
  • Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change--it can not only move us, it makes us move.
  • I find, in being black, a thing of beauty: a joy; a strength; a secret cup of gladness.

Ossie Davis's photos

Ossie Davis: A Life Well-Lived

Ossie Davis lived a fulfilling life of 87 years. He was an actor, director, poet, author, playwright, and civil rights activist who left behind an impressive legacy. Even after his death in February 2005, his impact on society remains exceptional, especially in the entertainment industry. But apart from his profession, what was Ossie Davis known for and how did he reach such heights in his career? Read on to know more about his life and contributions.

Net Worth Details

Ossie Davis had a net worth of $2 million at his time of death, which was equivalent to $2.6 million in modern-day currency. Davis had numerous roles in movies, television series, and Broadway productions contributing to his impressive wealth. He had more than a hundred acting credits to his name and won numerous awards for his work in the entertainment industry.


Early Life and Education

Ossie Davis was born on December 18, 1917, in Cogdell, Clinch County, Georgia. He was raised by his mother and grandmother following the death of his father when he was two years old. Davis’ family moved to Harlem when he was seven years old to provide better life opportunities.

Davis attended Howard University but left in his junior year due to financial hardship. After leaving college, he worked as a scriptwriter for an African-American radio station in Washington, D.C., before moving to New York City to pursue an acting career.


Davis began his acting career in the 194s and played a significant role in promoting civil rights activism throughout his life. As an actor, he had numerous memorable roles, including his appearance in “The Joe Louis Story.” Over his career, he worked on hit films like Dr. Dolittle, School Daze and Gladiator, to mention a few.

Aside from his successful career as an actor, Davis was a brilliant writer and activist too. He wrote plays like “Purlie Victorious” and “The Amen Corner,” both of which were nominated for Tony Awards. As an activist, he stood for civil rights alongside political activists like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Moreover, he fought for the independence of Africa and lobbied for fair treatment of minorities in Hollywood.


Ossie Davis passed away surrounded by family on February 4, 2005, due to natural causes. The world lost one of the most revered performers of all time.


Ossie Davis was one of the most influential persons in the entertainment industry and civil rights activism. He was nominated for eight Emmy Awards and won two. He also won the Lifetime Achievement Award for acting from The Screen Actors Guild in 200. In addition to his numerous awards, he made appearances in several Broadway successes, received by critics and audiences alike.

Aside from his awards and creative accolades, Davis will always be remembered for his relentless activism in civil rights organizations. In collaboration with his wife Ruby Dee, they were influential civil rights figures to pursue racial liberation in the US. Throughout his life, he advocated for gender equality and demanded African Americans’ recognition.

Final Thoughts

Ossie Davis made unbelievable contributions to society. His exceptional talent and charisma graced both the big screen and stage, where each performance was marvelously heartfelt and compellingβ€”more than just an actor and playwright, Ossie Davis becomes a modern archetype of civil radication and creativity. We should all strive to emulate his unending devotion to fighting for social justice and pursuing our dreams against all odds.

Interesting Facts about Ossie Davis

  1. Named to NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame with his wife, Ruby Dee, in 1989.
  2. The county clerk misunderstood his mother's dialectal pronunciation of his initials "R.C." when he was born. He thought he heard "Ossie" and registered him as such. The name stuck.
  3. Was a featured speaker at the funeral of both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
  4. Lived in New Rochelle, New York.
  5. Recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, along with Elton John, Joan Sutherland, John Williams, Warren Beatty and wife Ruby Dee.
  6. Had three children his with Ruby Dee: Guy Davis, Nora Day, and Hasna Muhammad.
  7. Was the oldest of five children.
  8. His brother, Dr. William Davis, a professor in San Antonio, TX, holds several patents, one of which is for the chemical process to produce instant mashed potatoes.
  9. Twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1958 as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) for "Jamaica", and in 1970 as co-author of the book for Best Musical nominee "Purlie".
  10. Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch).
  11. He and his wife Ruby Dee were awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1995 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
  12. Had played the father of Jennifer Beals' character on The L Word (2004). In a powerful performance, fitting of his legacy, his character died in the episode, The L Word: L-Chaim (2005). This was his final performance before his own death, and the episode was dedicated to his memory.
  13. Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 128-130. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
  14. Broadway debut as playwright with "Purlie Victorious" in 1961.
  15. Studied drama with the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem, New York City.
  16. Served in the United States Army during World War II as a medical technician.
  17. Had appeared with his wife Ruby Dee in nine films: No Way Out (1950), Gone Are the Days! (1963), The Sheriff (1971), Countdown at Kusini (1976), Roots: The Next Generations (1979), All God's Children (1980), Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991) and The Stand (1994).
  18. Grandfather of Muta'Ali Muhammad.
  19. Sang with the Melloharps, a vocal group, who had "I Love Only You" on Tin Pan Alley 145 in 1955.
  20. His ashes are inurned at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York.

Ossie Davis Famous Network

Male Actors ♂️ With Net Worth Closest To $2,000,000

Female Actors ♀️ With Net Worth Closest To $2,000,000

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