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Robert Davi
2016-02-01 Robert Davi (5).jpg
Davi in 2016
Robert John Davi

(1953-06-26) June 26, 1953 (age 70)
Education Hofstra University (B.A.)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • filmmaker
Years active 1977–present
Jan Borenstein
(m. 1971; div. 1980)
Jeri McBride
(m. 1980; div. 1990)
Christine Bolster
(m. 1990; div. 2019)
Diana Davi
(m. 2019)
Children 6
Musical career
Genres Traditional pop, Great American Songbook
Instruments Vocals

Robert John Davi (born June 26, 1953) is an American actor, singer and filmmaker. Over the course of his acting career, Davi has performed in more than 130 films. Among his most known roles are opera-singing Jake Fratelli in The Goonies (1985), Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard (1988), James Bond villain Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill (1989), police deputy chief Phil Heinemann in Predator 2 (1990) and Al Torres in Showgirls (1995). On television, he portrayed FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Profiler (1996–2000).

Classically trained as a singer, Davi launched his professional singing career in 2011. His first album, Davi Sings Sinatra – On The Road To Romance, hit No. 6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice and vocal interpretations, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian Las Vegas, six months after the record was released.

In 2016, Davi replaced Jerry Doyle as radio host for a nationally syndicated radio program on Talk Radio Network.

Early life

Davi was born in 1953, in Astoria, Queens, New York, the son of Maria (née Rulli) and Sal Davi. His mother was an Italian American whose family came from Nusco, Avellino, Campania and his father was from Torretta, Palermo, Sicily.

Davi spoke Italian during his childhood. He attended Seton Hall, a Roman Catholic high school in Patchogue, New York. He has two sisters, Yvonne Davi (deceased), and Mrs. Michelle Queal. He graduated from Hofstra University, which he attended because of that university's strong drama department as well as its unique reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Davi also studied with legendary acting coach Stella Adler when he moved to Manhattan.

Film career

Acting career

Robert Davi
Davi in a 1983 episode of The Optimist

Davi made his motion picture debut in Contract On Cherry Street, in which he shared the screen with Frank Sinatra. He has appeared in films including The Goonies, Die Hard, Showgirls, Son of the Pink Panther, and in the Bond film Licence to Kill (1989) as the villain Franz Sanchez. In 2014, Davi appeared as Goran Vata in The Expendables 3.

In 2015, Davi appeared in a music video for Bob Dylan's recording of "The Night They Called It A Day", from Dylan's album Shadows In The Night, a selection of songs which had been recorded by Frank Sinatra. Rolling Stone suggested that Davi's role in the video may be a nod towards Davi's having made his acting debut alongside Sinatra in the crime film Contract on Cherry Street, and Davi's release of his own album of Sinatra covers.

In 2015, he interpreted Gabriele Tinti's poetry giving voice to the Boxer at Rest at the Getty Museum.

Directing career

Davi with Stephen Dorff and Michael Shannon at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

In 2007, Davi made his directorial debut with The Dukes, a parable regarding the mid-2000 economic crisis and its impact. The film starred himself, Chazz Palminteri, and Peter Bogdanovich. The Dukes was selected for the premiere section at the Rome Film Festival, along with films by Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, and Sidney Lumet. Davi was the only first-time director in the premiere section. The film was screened internationally and won awards at Queens International Film Festival, WorldFest Houston [tr], Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festiva and the Festival international du film de comédie de l'Alpe d'Huez.

Davi directed his third film, My Son Hunter, it was released on September 7, 2022.

Recording career

Davi in 2013

In high school, Davi was praised for his singing, and auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera after being awarded first place at the prestigious New York State School Music Association's Solo Competition, where he sang Vincent Youman's "Without A Song". He subsequently received classical training with top vocal teachers, Samuel Margolis and Danial Ferro of Juilliard and Tito Gobbi. Davi damaged his voice, and later explained that he was a baritone with the "heart of a tenor and had pushed too hard, too early."

Davi began to focus again on singing in 2011, and worked with "Voice Builder" Gary Catona as he prepared to record his first children's album.

With a thirty-piece orchestra, he recorded the album at the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, where Frank Sinatra recorded on many occasions.

The album, which featured new arrangements by composer Nic. tenBroek, was produced by Phil Ramone, engineered by Dan Wallin, and mixed by Al Schmitt. The album, Davi Sings Sinatra -- On The Road To Romance, was released October 24, 2011, and received attention from the media, garnering positive reviews. Jazztimes called Davi Sings Sinatra "uniformly impressive", and critic Don Heckman wrote in the Orange County Register that "there are, of course, dozens of Sinatra imitators and simulators. But what Davi does is a whole different matter. A tribute? Yes, indeed; all that and more." AllMusic noted that "Davi makes no attempt to copy Sinatra's vocal sound ... Rather, he is his own singer." The album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz charts.

In December 2012, Davi appeared along with Roger Cicero in the French/German Arte TV program Durch die Nacht mit … The episode was shot in the Little Italy area of New York City and featured conversation between Cicero and Davi and solos of Sinatra standards by both performers. In December 2013, Davi released a Christmas single, "Mistletoe and Holly", with all proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army.

Davi has lent his voice to political ads, including Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" attack ad, "Hot Air: The Movie", and others produced by Republican media consultant Fred Davis.

Davi was chosen by the United Nations to celebrate the Transformative Power of Music at the General Assembly in New York, in June 2015 – and again for the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the UN in September 2015.

Davi was chosen to tribute Sinatra's 100th birthday for the July 4 PBS special; it was watched by 500,000 people outside the Capitol Building in DC and 15 million viewers.

Davi was the guest singer on the Italian version of the TV program The Voice.

Personal life

Davi is a Roman Catholic.

Davi has been married four times having been divorced three times. His first marriage was to Jan Borenstein, the marriage lasted from 1970 to 1980. His second marriage was to Jeri McBride which lasted from 1980 to 1990, they had one son. His third marriage was to Christine Bolster which lasted from 1990 to 2019. They have four children together. Davi married his fourth wife Diana Davi in 2019 and they have a daughter.


Davi is an outspoken political conservative, often speaking at Republican Party gatherings. He has been invited to comment on numerous political shows and backed John McCain during his presidential campaign. He narrated several film montages that aired during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Davi has spoken at numerous Conservative Political Action Conferences in Washington, D.C. He was a frequent guest on Fox News's late-night satire program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld. Davi endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and again in 2020.

Awards and honors

For his contributions to the Canadian Italian community, Davi was enshrined in Toronto's Italian Walk of Fame in 2013.

He was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Al Torres in Showgirls (1995).



Year Title Role Notes
1984 City Heat Nino
1985 The Goonies Jake Fratelli
1986 Raw Deal Max Keller
1987 Wild Thing "Chopper"
1988 Action Jackson Tony Moretti
Die Hard FBI Special Agent Johnson
Traxx Aldo Palucci
1989 Licence to Kill Franz Sanchez
1990 Peacemaker Sergeant Frank Ramos
Deceptions Jack "Harley" Kessler
Maniac Cop 2 Detective Sean McKinney
Predator 2 Deputy Chief Phil Heinemann
Amazon Dan
1991 White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd Charlie "Lucky" Luciano
The Taking of Beverly Hills Robert Masterson
Legal Tender Fix Cleary
1992 Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue "Sully" Sullivan
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery Martin Pinzon
Center of the Web Richard Morgan
1993 Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence Detective Sean McKinney
Night Trap Detective Mike Turner
Son of the Pink Panther Hans Zarba
1994 No Contest Sergeant Crane
Cops and Robbersons Horace Osborn
1995 Delta of Venus The Collector
Showgirls Al Torres
1996 An Occasional Hell State Trooper Abbott
1998 The Bad Pack McQue
2001 Soulkeeper Mallion
2002 The Sorcerer's Apprentice Merlin, Milner
The 4th Tenor Lerra
The Hot ... Stan, April's Dad
Hitters Nick Also producer
2003 One Last Ride Father
2004 Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss Ivan Nagy
2005 In the Mix "Fish"
2007 The Dukes Danny Also directorial debut, screenwriter and producer
2008 An American Carol Aziz
2009 American Summer Himself
The Butcher Murdoch
Ballistica Macarthur Also executive producer
2010 Magic Man Simpson
Game of Death Frank Smith
Magic David Ortero Also director and producer
2011 Kill the Irishman Ray Ferritto
Swamp Shark Sheriff Watson
2012 The Iceman Leo Merks Based on Anthony Gaggi
2013 Doonby Sheriff Woodley
Blood of Redemption Hayden
2014 Black Rose Captain Frank Dalano
A Long Way Off Frank
The Expendables 3 Goran Vata
Lost Time Xavier Reed Also executive producer
2015 Sicilian Vampire Salvatore "Big Sal"
2016 Criminal Admiral Lance Uncredited
2018 Bachelor Lions Maurice
2019 Mob Town Vito Genovese
2020 Roe v. Wade William J. Brennan Jr.
2022 The Man Who Drew God Lawyer Post-production
2022 My Son Hunter N/A Director
2023 Inside Man Anthony 'Nino' Gaggi
2023 The Engineer Senator David Adler
2023 Reagan Leonid Brezhnev Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Contract on Cherry Street Mickey Sinardos, Greek Hijacker TV film
1978 Charlie's Angels Ritchie Episode: "Mother Angel"
1979 From Here to Eternity Guard TV miniseries
The Legend of the Golden Gun William Quantrill TV film
Lou Grant Hector Episode: "Hector"
The Incredible Hulk Rader Episode: "The Slam"
Barnaby Jones Pete Cerilla Episode: "False Witness"
Trapper John, M.D. Officer Ed Buxton Episode: "Licensed to Kill"
1980 Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story Hubbard TV film
1981 Dynasty Amos Episode: "The Honeymoon"
Shannon Mel Episode: "Gotham Swansong"
The Gangster Chronicles Vito Genovese TV miniseries
1982 St. Elsewhere Parick 2 episodes
T. J. Hooker Joe 'The Barber' Picartus, Tom Warfield 2 episodes
The Powers of Matthew Star Zealotta Episode: "The Italian Caper"
Hill Street Blues Stan Mizell Episode: "Stan the Man"
1983 The Optimist The Cabbie Episode: "Burning Rubber"
1983–1984 The Fall Guy Scar De Bond, Dan Kowal 2 episodes
1984 Hart to Hart Tony Bairos Episode: "Always, Elizabeth"
The A-Team Boyle Episode: "Sheriffs of Rivertown"
1985 Hunter Sonny Dunbar Episode: "Million Dollar Misunderstanding"
1986 The Equalizer Michael Riegert Episode: "Wash-Up"
1988 L.A. Law Dominic Simonetti Episode: "Leapin' Lizards"
1989 Wiseguy Albert Cerrico 5 episodes
1993 FBI: The Untold Stories Joe Pistone 2 episodes
1994 Blind Justice Alacran TV film
1995 VR.5 Simon Buchanan Episode: "Simon's Choice"
1996–2000 Profiler FBI Agent Bailey Malone 86 episodes
1999 Batman Beyond Dr. Mike Morgan / Magma Voice, episode: "Heroes"
1999–2000 The Pretender Agent Bailey Malone 2 episodes
2004 Karen Sisco Denton Episode: "No One's Girl"
2004–2008 Stargate: Atlantis Acastus Kolya 6 episodes
2005 Breaking Vegas The Narrator 4 episodes
2006 Huff Dickins Episode: "Which Lip Is the Cervical Lip?"
2010 Nip/Tuck Christian's Dad Episode: "Christian Troy II"
Criminal Minds Detective Kurzbard 2 episodes
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Marvin Braxton Episode: "Uninvited"
Asteroid vs. Earth General Masterson TV film
2015 Hell's Kitchen Himself Reality TV series
2021–2022 Paper Empire Lawrence Fintch 11 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez
Disney's PK: Out of the Shadows General Zondag
2004 Halo 2 Rtas 'Vadumee
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Alejandro Sosa
2007 Halo 3 Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum

Music videos

Year Title Role
2008 "Burnin' Up" Jonas Brothers
2015 "The Night We Called It a Day" Bob Dylan
"Sopra la media" J-Ax

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Robert Davi para niños

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