NYC Honorary Street Names

Davis, O.

Ossie Davis Way (Manhattan)
Present name:None
Location:Intersection of West 123rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue with the sign facing north in front of 258 St. Nicholas Avenue
Honoree: Ossie Davis (1917-2005) was a legendary actor and activist who influenced generations with his professional achievements and humanitarian causes. Born in Cogdell, Georgia, he studied drama with Harlem’s Rose McClendon Players. He served in World War II as a surgical technician, and developed his writing ability by creating shows for his fellow troops. He made his Broadway debut in 1946 in “Jeb Turner.” In 1948, he married the actor Ruby Dee. Together they would form one of the greatest husband-and-wife teams in entertainment history. In 1950, he appeared with his wife in the film “No Way Out;” and starred in films like “The Cardinal” and “The Hill,” and also appeared in television shows, including the detective drama “The Outsider” and “The Defenders” series. He became a major force in the theater world when he wrote the 1961 Broadway play “Purlie Victorious,” later made into the 1970 musical "Purlie."As a director of stage and screen, he was best known for the popular “Cotton Comes To Harlem” (1970). He founded the innovative Third World Cinema Production Company, which assists African-American and Latino filmmakers. Throughout his career, he embraced the African-American struggle for equality. He was a highly visible member of the civil rights movement with his support of Paul Robeson, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in his later years, as an outspoken opponent of apartheid in South Africa and an advocate for diversity in the entertainment industry. See also Ruby Dee Place. (Perkins)

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