Ossie Davis, 87, the actor, writer, director and social activist who died yesterday, had the kind of rich, soulful, sonorous delivery that seemed to arise as much from his conscience as his vocal cords.
But it wasn't only timbre and elocution that made Mr. Davis, who starred on Broadway and in movies such as "Do the Right Thing" (1989) and in TV productions such as "Roots: The Next Generations" (1979), famous and beloved.
He and his wife of 56 years, actress Ruby Dee, seemed always in the center of a political storm. They were blacklisted during the McCarthy era for Communist sympathies; they marched and picketed in major civil-rights demonstrations in the 1960s, including the March on Washington, D.C., where the Rev. &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/usa/2001/10/31/19719.html ' target=_blank>Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Mr. Davis also delivered the eulogy at Malcolm X's funeral in 1965, wrote the Seattle Times.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Davis was found dead in his hotel room in Miami, where he was shooting the film "Retirement," which also starred Rip Torn, Jack Warden and George Segal in a senior citizens' take on the road-trip movie. He had just begun working on the film on Monday.
His son, Guy, said the cause had not been determined, but that his father had a history of heart problems and had recently recovered from &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2003/03/19/44628.html' target=_blank>pneumonia.