Ossie Davis, center, with Gordon, Ruby Dee, Elmo, and Telly Monster

Ossie Davis (1917-2005) was an actor, director, writer, and civil rights activist, and husband of Ruby Dee. Davis was heard in a recurring Sesame Street animated segment as the voice of Anansi the Spider (one skit was included in the 1996 video Sleepytime Songs and Stories). He also appeared as Archer Dolittle in the Creature Shop film Dr. Dolittle.

On television in the 1950s and 1960s, Davis played small roles on the likes of Bonanza and The Fugitive, and recurred on The Defenders as the district attorney. He played Dad Jones in the mini-series Roots: The Next Generation and was a regular on B.L. Stryker, Evening Shade, and Promised Land.

In his later years, Davis was a frequent player in Spike Lee's films, including Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, She Hate Me, and Get on the Bus; his voice was heard in Malcolm X, delivering the eulogy, just as Davis had at Malcolm X's funeral.

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