Los Angeles (February 4, 2005) --- SAG President Melissa Gilbert issued the following statement about the death of actor and 37th Annual SAG Life Achievement Award recipient Ossie Davis:
"Along with his remarkable wife, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis' impact on America can be seen not only in his rich body of creative works, but equally so as a passionate advocate for social justice and human dignity. I had the honor of working with Mr. Davis and was profoundly moved by his brilliant talent as well as his tireless advocacy on behalf of performers of color and as a champion of the guild's diversity initiatives. On behalf of Screen Actors Guild, I extend deepest sympathies to Ruby Dee and her family."
Davis, who was given SAG's 2000 Life Achievement Award with wife Ruby Dee, made his film debut in 1950's No Way Out with Sidney Poitier. Along with numerous other performances, he appeared in The Cardinal, Cotton Comes to Harlem and Do the Right Thing. In addition to a prolific Broadway career, his vast television work included The Emperor Jones, King and Teacher, Teacher. For over 50 years, Davis was on the frontline in the fight for social justice. He cared deeply about the acting profession and advocated acceptance for all performers.