Retirement is the last thing on Clifton Davis' mind. At 75, he is still pursuing a career in acting and he's been at it for four decades.
Remember the '70s hit TV show “That’s My Mama” and the crowd-favorite '80s series “Amen?” If you do, then you must have been familiar with an old-time face in the person of Clifton Davis.
Born on October 4, 1945, Davis' career has spanned forty years. He is also working as a minister and songwriter on top of being an actor.
HIS UNEXPECTED START
At 21, he first worked as a video engineer at ABC television. After being inspired by a Broadway show titled "Apple Tree," he knew then and there he wanted to be a performer.
He quit his full-time job and auditioned for a role in the Broadway production of "Hello Dolly." Soon after, he won a Tony nomination for his role on the show "Two Gentlemen of Verona."
HIS TROUBLESOME CAREER
After Renee Valente saw his performance on that particular show, he was cast two years later as the star of the show "That's My Mama," which led to the start of his long television career.
Unfortunately, deep beneath the fame, his life was marred by cocaine addiction, womanizing, abusive relationships, and a reputation for being a “people user.” However, the bright side of things was that Davis was next in line for a work of grace.
HIS RELIGIOUS INTERVENTION
Somehow and in quite a strange way, all these vices were turned around, and Davis was given a chance to correct his mistakes. In 1981, he left Hollywood for five years to get a bachelor's degree in theology and a master's degree in divinity.
He also began preaching from the Bible as a devoted minister. He kissed his dark reputation goodbye and focused on becoming a better man.
HIS DARK PAST
“I was committed to getting over with the women, enjoying my life, and doing what I pleased. I was selfish and cold, and I felt no shame about it,” Davis said to People Magazine in 1986.
At the time, he was referring to his relationships with singers, Melba Moore and Nancy Wilson, as well as a few other celebs back in the day.
A SECOND CHANCE
After a near-death experience, he decided to turn his life around and live a life devoted to God. He was able to redeem himself, guest-star on several sitcoms, and appear in several films.
From 2014 to 2018, his most notable role was as the Sultan on the Broadway run of Disney's "Aladdin." Speaking about it, he revealed the role was one of the most special to him, keeping it close to his heart.
After appearing on "Aladdin," he was also on "Madam Secretary." He then guest-starred on the hit NBC show "New Amsterdam."
Nowadays, when he isn't busy acting, the actor and preacher spends most of his time with his family, particularly his grown-up daughter and his grandchildren. They keep him busy, and together they enjoy all the fruits of his hardwork through the years.