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Obituaries

Playwright, Actor and Activist Bill C. Davis Has Passed Away

Bill's works include Dancing in the End Zone, Wrestlers, Spine, Avow, Coming2Terms, All Hallowed, and many more.

Playwright, Actor and Activist Bill C. Davis Has Passed Away

Bill C. Davis passed away on February 26, 2021 after a brief illness. Bill was a playwright, author, actor, director and political activist, and was best known for his play Mass Appeal, which premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and subsequently moved to Broadway in 1981; many productions in every corner of the country followed in later years, and a 1984 film version starred Jack Lemmon and Željko Ivanek. Bill's other works include Dancing in the End Zone, Wrestlers, Spine, Avow, Coming2Terms, All Hallowed, Jeremiah Rules, Expatriate, Austin's Bridge, Concierge, Household Accounts, The Human Cocktail, Open For Me, The Sex King, SIP, Spine, Village Rites, and Visiting Day.

Bill was born in Ellenville, New York and grew up in the Hudson Valley. He attended Catholic schools and graduated from Marist College. Upon graduation, he worked at Rhinebeck Country Village, a residential community for developmentally disabled and emotionally disturbed adults, which informed his later work. Davis wrote Mass Appeal during his time working and living at Rhinebeck.

Bill loved to write about his family and his own life experiences. He infused his work with humor, societal critique, love of all flavors, faith, forgiveness, and every emotion a human can have. Bill was an accomplished and successful writer and artist, that lived his truth daily and inspired so many others to do so. A trailblazer and innovator through his creativity but even more so through his caring and compassion on both large and small scales. Bill will forever be remembered and loved by his family, his friends, his students, his fans, and his communities.

After the success of Mass Appeal on Broadway, Bill continued to have several of his works performed on and off Broadway, as well as at regional, national, and international theatres, as well as at colleges and universities.

Bill was the recipient of several awards including the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Moliere Award, Critic's Choice LA Times, a National Board of Review citation, and the Dramalogue Award. He was Playwright in residence at the Manhattan Theater Club, Playwright-in-residence at Brooklyn College, and Playwright Mentor at Carnegie Mellon.

Bill is survived by his brother, Warren Davis, his sister, Patricia Marks, nephews Bryan Marks and Jeremy Marks, Warren Patrick Davis and their children, and many wonderful friends.

For more information about his life and works and a Celebration of his Life in the spring, please go to his website www.billcdavis.com.


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