John Davidson

Active - 1915 - 1963  |   Born - Dec 25, 1886   |   Died - Jan 15, 1968   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Mystery, Adventure, Romance

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Character actor John Davidson entered films in 1914. Though a native New Yorker, Davidson seemed most at home playing sinister Middle Easterners or Europeans; he was, for example, cast as the sheik in Priscilla Dean's 1922 version of Under Two Flags and as Cardinal Richelieu in the 1924 Rudolph Valentino vehicle Monsieur Beaucaire. In talkies, he was seen in roles ranging from bit-part concierges to criminal masterminds. Busiest in serials, Davidson menaced his way through such chapter plays as The Perils of Pauline (1934), Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc. (1941), The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), Secret Service in Darkest Africa (1942), The Perils of Nyoka (1942), and The Purple Monster Strikes (1945). Even in his fleeting A-picture appearances, he remained an unsavory presence (e.g., Benedict Arnold in Where Do We Go From Here?). Once in a while, he'd spoof his established screen image, notably as the capricious sidewalk hypnotist in the 1939 Our Gang one-reeler Duel Personalities. He retired from films sometime in the early '50s. John Davidson is no relation to the singer of the same name.

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