June 26, 1953
Astoria, New York
Robert Davi was born to parents he described as "the expressive restaurant type."
As a youth he crooned arias in the streets of Queens and when a
nun took notice of his voice, she told his parents that he must sing. He
studied in Florence, Italy with Tito Gobi and made his performing debut
at 19 with the Lyric Opera Company of Long Island.
Robert's fondness for the cinema drew him to acting. Upon graduating
from high school, he earned a drama scholarship to Hofstra University.
While at Hofstra he appeared onstage and gave more than 400 performances
in works ranging from Brecht to Shakespeare. He left after 3 years and
later studied under the noted Stella Adler and at the prestigious
Actor's Studio. He later studied with the legendary Lee Strasberg, and under the
tutleage of Sandra Seacat, Milton Katselas, Eric Morris, and Martin Landau, among others.
Robert's professional acting career began with a role in the 1977
telefilm "Contract on Cherry Street" which starred Frank Sinatra. Davi
won the part by sneaking into Columbia Pictures' Manhattan offices and
brazeningly introducing himself to the producers.
Robert later relocated to California and appeared in several telefilms,
usually playing thugs and hoodlums. In films, Robert often played the same
type of roles he played on
television, starting off with Richard Bemjamin's "City Heat". Later, he
got the chance to show off his vocal talents when playing a bank robber
in Richard Donner's "The Goonies". Robert's role as an accused PLO leader
in the CBS telefilm "Terrorist on
Trial: The U.S. vs. Salim Ajami," is considered by him to be one of the most
challenging roles of his career. The telefilm earned Davi great acclaim and a
Davi went on to portray Latin American cocaine kingpin Franz Sanchez in the
James Bond adventure "Licence to Kill", directed by John Glenn.
Davi was the youngest actor to portray one of 007's nemesis and brought
a new wrinkle to the series. He was regarded as one of James Bond's more
formidable foes by those who were fans of Ian Fleming's stories.
Robert continued playing an assortment of roles in cable and
direct-to-video films, including a detective in pursuit of a resurrected
officer in William Lustig's "Maniac Cop" trilogy; Zalman King's "Wild
Orchid 2;" and in "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery," directed by John
The actor recently portrayed a veteran FBI agent in the NBC series
"Profiler." To prepare for the role, he consulted with noted profiler
Robert Ressler and several personnel from Quantico, VA, home to the FBI'
Robert has a son by his first wife and 2 daughters by his second wife, former model
Photo © NBC - Written by Robert Baum © 2001 - [used with permission]
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