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|26 JUNE 2013
60TH BIRTHDAY OF ACTOR ROBERT DAVI
|A celebration of Robert Davi on his birthday. Robert will forever be rememberd amongst Bond fans for playing the villain role in Licence to Kill 1989 opposite Timothy Dalton.
With this page, we would like to send our personal wishes to Mr. Davi for his birthday.
"Robert, happy birthday and warmest regards from Sweden, you are one of the best villains in the Bond series!"
In 2011, FSWL organized for Club James Bond France to make an interview with Robert for their club magazine Le Bond, click here for the original interview in English.
About Robert Davi:
On January 15th, 2011, Italian-American movie star and singer Robert Davi, backed by a 50 piece orchestra, performed his show Davi Sings Sinatra: A Tribute to Sinatra, the Great American Songbook, and America, at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Davi brought to life his love letter to Sinatra and The Great American Songbook – composed by many of America's greatest songwriters and lyricists. The songs represent nothing less than the “Shakespeare of America.” The Great American Songbook – composed in the early to mid 20th century – continues to cross all cultural boundaries. Why? They touch the heart and move the soul; they can bring you to tears; and they can make you swing. The American Songbook, in fact, is one of the reasons why the world fell in love with America and Frank Sinatra is its definitive interpreter.
Sinatra, Davi believes, is the greatest singing genius that America has ever produced, and that his contribution to the lives of Italian-Americans is beyond evaluation. For over sixty incredible years, Frank Sinatra was a global icon. Born of the big band era, his voice is clear and rich with feeling, a sound that defined popular American music in the 20th century. The genius of his lyrical style awakens the romance we all still yearn for. Since his death in 1998, while we can listen to his voice on records, there’s been an undeniable void.
In July 2010, Robert Davi gave three sold out performances of Davi Sings Sinatra in New York. He received standing ovations each night. Ervin Drake, one of the last living legends of The Great American Songbook, who penned the classic "It Was A Very Good Year," and wrote for some of the biggest names in music, attended the opening night in New York of Davi Sings Sinatra. He was so impressed with what he saw and heard, that he returned two days later to attend a second performance. As he was leaving, he left behind a message for Davi, which reads as follows:
"Robert Davi would make a worthy successor to the incomparable Frank Sinatra, whether in the fields of Stage, Screen or Television. And having been chosen years ago by the Master himself, to act in a film side by side with him, this is not a vain pronouncement.”
On October 22, 2011, Davi brought his show to The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in Washington D.C. for a command performance at the Hilton Washington Grand Ballroom for an audience of fifteen hundred for the 35th anniversary gala of NIAF, which was also the 25th anniversary of that organization honoring Frank Sinatra.
Just about anywhere on this earth, American movie star Robert Davi cannot walk into a busy room without a sudden permeation of instant recognition. Gentlemen's Quarterly has compared him to silver screen classics Robert Mitchum and Lee Marvin. Interview Magazine called him a latter-day Humphrey Bogart. Davi made his motion picture debut in Contract On Cherry Street (1977), in which he shared the screen with the Chairman of the Board himself, 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 Fraco, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, and Roberto Benigni, among others.
He's been in such movies as The Goonies (1985), Die Hard (1988), Son of the Pink Panther (1993), Showgirls (1995), and in the James Bond 007 film Licence to Kill (1989) as the villain Franz Sanchez who is considered one of the best Bond villains of all time. On TV, he starred as Commander Acastus Kolya on Stargate Atlantis, appeared in two-part episodes of Criminal Minds, and played Agent Baily Malone in 82 episodes of his own NBC series, Profiler.
Davi recently made his directorial debut with The Dukes (2007), 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. The Dukes stars Chazz Palminteri, Robert Davi, and Peter Bogdanovich. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film:
“A gem – irresistible.” Jen Johans from Film Intuition said, “Frequently funny yet consistently relatable, especially given our current economic climate – The Dukes is an irresistible feel-great movie that manages to tap right into the resilient, independent, prideful and tough-minded spirit of what it means to be Italian-American. Yet at the same time, Davi's film also celebrates the extraordinary beauty of the culture whether it's in our ability to put family and loyalty first or to sublimate our frustrations into perfect, sweet-sounding musical harmony.”
The Dukes was selected for the premiere section at the Rome Film Festival, along with other filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn, 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. Artistic director of the festival was Mario Monicelli (Big Deal On Madonna Street), and president of the jury was Ettore Scola, one of the giants of Italian cinema who has won the Golden Palm several times, an Oscar, Italian Oscars, and French Oscars. Following that, The Dukes was invited to the Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival in France. The Dukes and Jason Reitman's Juno were the only two American films selected, with The Dukes receiving the special jury prize, The Coup de Coeur: “The Prize of the Heart.”
In 2010, Robert also starred in Game of Death with Wesley Snipes.
In 2011, he was seen with Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken in Kill The Irishman, the true story of Danny Greene, a tough Irish thug working for mobsters in Cleveland during the 1970's.
While most know Davi as an iconic screen presence, not many know that Davi's first passion is singing. As this current quote by jazz great Shelly Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, may illustrate.
"Everyone knew Robert Davi would be great as Lucky Luciano in the new, Phil Ramone-produced musical "Lanza", but what blew the crowd away was Robert singing Sinatra as the encore! In a performance for 600 college students, they leapt to their feet and screamed with delight. The same result was achieved the next night with the "adult" audience. Very few people can sing Sinatra with the voice, authority and phrasing of Robert Davi."
But 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 under several of the top vocal teachers: Samuel Margolis (the famed singing teacher at the Metropolitan Opera who incidentally taught Robert Merrill the man who Sinatra would sometimes call upon for vocal workshops). Then he studied with Danial Ferro of Juilliard and later opera great Tito Gobbi. While Davi learned a tremendous amount from these men, he always felt something was missing.
It wasn’t until two years ago when it all came together. The first step was to find a teacher so he asked Bob Cavallo who would be good to study with. Cavallo instantly recommended Gary Catona, the legendary “voice builder to the stars,” who has trained such voices as: Whitney Houston, Sade, Brian Wilson, Lionel Richie, Shirley MacLaine, and Liza Minnelli. Davi met with Catona and the two became fast friends. Catona’s revolutionary technique was the vocal approach Davi had always been searching for. Catona says of Davi, “Unlike other singers who are doing the American songbook, Robert truly has ‘the voice,’ a rich, masculine tone and beauty, with a sensitive, artistic heart to match. In this sense, he resembles Sinatra, but does not sound like him. His uniquely colorful baritone voice has a flair for the dramatic that he expresses thoughtfully in his interpretation. All in all, Robert Davi could easily wrestle the Sinatra mantle away from all would-be contenders.”
Davi has completed his first album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road to Romance, which he recorded at the famous Capitol Records in Hollywood (where Sinatra recorded on many occasions). Phil Ramone, who is one of the industry’s most accomplished and respected music producers achieving, 33 Grammy nominations and 14 Grammy Awards, is overseeing the project. Ramone's impeccable list of credits includes collaborations with artists such as Franks Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, and Stevie Wonder, among many others.
While many know Robert as an entertainer, many do not know the man off screen.
The album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance, was released in October 2011 by Sun Lion Records / Fontana (Universal Music Group).
For other posts covering Robert Davi featured on From Sweden with Love, click here.
Birthdays for James Bond related people profiled on From Sweden With Love:
>Anne Lönnberg: February 17
>Barbara Broccoli: June 18
>Britt Ekland: October 6
>Caroline Munro: January 16
>Charlie Higson: July 3
>Christopher Lee: May 27
>Daniel Craig: March 3
>David Arnold: January 23
>David Hedison: May 20
>Dolph Lundgren: November 3
>Eva Green: July 5
>George Lazenby: September 5
>Gloria Hendry: March 3
>Guy Hamilton: September 16
>Ian Fleming: May 28
>Izabella Scorupco: June 4
>Jane Seymour: February 15
>John Glen: May 15
>John Moreno: March 4
>Ken Adam: February 5
>Kristina Wayborn: September 24
>Lana Wood: April 15
>Lars Lundgren: May 6
>Lewis Gilbert: March 6
>Lois Chiles: April 15
>Margaret Nolan: October 29
>Martin Campbell: October 24
>Martine Beswicke: September 26
>Mary Stavin: August 20
>Maryam d'Abo: December 27
>Maud Adams: February 12
>Max von Sydow: April 10
>Michael G. Wilson: January 21
>Neal Purvis: September 9
>Norman Wanstall: September 30
>Ola Rapace: December 3
>Peter Janson-Smith: September 5
>Peter Lamont: November 12
>Pierce Brosnan: May 16
>Rachel Grant: November 25
>Raymond Benson: September 6
>Richard Kiel: September 13
>Roger Moore: October 14
>Sean Connery: August 25
>Shane Rimmer: May 28
>Shirley Bassey: January 8
>Talisa Soto: March 27
>Tanya Roberts: October 15
>Timothy Dalton: March 21
>Trina Parks: December 26
>Valerie Leon: November 12
>Willy Bogner Jr: January 23
Our good friend Lee Pfeiffer with Robert Davi in New York. Photo by Anders Frejdh © 2007 From Sweden with Love.
Visit the official Davi Sings Sinatra website and support Robert Davi's work: