James Vincent Davis, best known to everyone as "Vince" was retrieved by God on May 23, 2014 after a brief fight with pancreatic cancer.
Vince was born on June 9th, 1954, and was a prominent actor devoted to a lifelong drive to communicate with sincerity and humor.
Whether on stage, screen or print, Vince knew how to use his quicksilver intelligence, set the mood, enlighten the audience and portray the truth.
Vince's desire to be an actor began very early. He knew he was destined for the stage and to tell stories beginning in Sunday school at the Methodist Church in Desoto, Texas. With history as his background, he drew the "line in the sand" as Colonel Travis at the young age of five and delivered his commanding speech to his classmates. To his sheer joy and surprise, not remembering that rehearsal predicts performance, all his Sunday school companions came over the line to continue the scene. After realizing the power of his voice (and the benefits of rehearsal) Vince was hooked on acting!
Vince's unique wit and charm warmed the world around him. He was a huge inspiration to many, wherever he showed up. At Desoto High School, he played both offensive and defensive football. Despite his left knee being severely injured, he still insisted on running track. He was elected President of the Future Farmers of America and won the state championship in debate. He was very proud of his team and their close connections. His personal tastes in movies and music was also unique. His favorite TV show was "Star Trek" and he memorized every episode.
Through the Future Farmers of America, he raised and sold sheep and cattle. He spent one year at Dallas Baptist College, but soon moved to Mountain View College where he met many kindred souls devoted to the stage. With this devoted group of friends they co-created More Sugar Productions. They produced, directed and acted in numerous plays, all recorded by his best pal and fellow dreamer, Randy Clower. Vince's most memorable role with More Sugar Productions was Lenny in "Lenny Bruce."
Vince joined the SMU professional acting program his junior and senior years. He earned his BFA in 1977. He met and fell in love with Jane Evelyn Chalk, a dancer in the SMU dance program. They were soon married in 1979 and enjoyed their parallel performing careers for their loving thirty-four years of marriage.
Vince was also a talented theatrical lighting technician and worked in the early 1980's with Showco, a Dallas production company. He toured with that company extensively throughout the US and Canada with rock and roll bands. A master electrician, Vince bus and trucked his talents with "The Who," "Rossinton Collins" (former "Lynard Skynyrd" musicians), "Electric Light Orchestra," Linda Ronstadt and "The Commodores with Lionel Richie."
Vince was a passionate character actor in theatre and film. His creative instinct made each character he portrayed believable, real, truthful and compassionate. Vince believed that greater good, decency and humanity existed in people and he brought that to each role he played.
He played leading men and his stage work could be seen prominently at Theatre Three, Stage West, Circle Theatre, and Casa Manana. Vince never had a bad review as he created characters such as Dr. Nakamura in "Happy End", Roencrantz in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead", Moses in "Moses Flying By," John Merrick in "The Elephant Man", Phil Hogan in "Moon For the Misforgotten", Harry Truman in "Dead President's Club," Arles et al in "Greater Tuna," Gary Lefkowitz in "I Hate Hamlet," Capt. Whitataker and Cmd. Stone in "A Few Good Men," Jeremy in "Home Front," and many more title characters in "Hunting Cockroaches," "The Nerd," "Room Service," "Sister Mary Ignatious," "Comic Potential," "God's Man in Texas," "A Raisin in the Sun," "Talking Pictures," "A Soldier's Play," and "Free Man of Color."
More notably was Vince's sense of humor, comic timing and whimsical spirit. Vince was also very physical in his comedy. These qualities poured out of him especially through his improvisational style. Thusly, Vince was a very proud member of 4 Out Of 5 Doctors improvisation group for 25 years. Collaborating with Tom Blackwood, Ed Yeager, Mark Walters, Mark Fickert, Bob Coonrod and many, many more, "the Docs" created numerous corporate shows and events. They played at The Improv, Dave and Busters and Pocket Sandwich Theatre in Dallas.
In film and TV, Vince can be seen in "Chase," "Prison Break," "Walking Tall II," "Birdie and Bogey," "King of the World," "The Operator," "Bad Girls," "Leap of Faith," "Walker Texas Ranger," "Wishbone," "Heaven and Hell," "Witness to the Execution," "Heaven Help Us," "In the Name of Love," "Ned Blessing," "Touch and Die," "Problem Child," "The Challenger," "Fire and Rain," "Poncho Barnes," "13 East," "Stormin' Home," "The Bermuda Triangle."
Vince Davis is survived by his loving wife, Jane Evelyn, of 34 years and his best companion and son, Michael, who is following in his father's footsteps as an aspiring actor.
Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday, May 30, 2014 at Restland Funeral Home. Service will be at 2:30 PM on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Restland Memorial Chapel.
DAVIS, Vince (James Vincent Davis)
Born: 6/9/1954, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 5/23/2014, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Vince Davis’ westerns – actor:
Ned Blessing: The True Story of My Life (TV) – 1992 (prison reporter)
Bad Girls – 1994 (apparel clerk)
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 (Joel Gordon, Markham, Lyle Kramer, Grissom)