Movie Article

Ossie Davis

Here's what the entertainment world will miss most about the ''Evening Shade'' star

Spike Lee remembers Ossie Davis

Dec. 18, 1917 - Feb. 4, 2005

During my first year of NYU film school, on a whim I wrote a letter introducing myself to Ms. Ruby Dee and Mr. Ossie Davis telling them that one day I hoped to work with them. Many years later, Ossie reminded me of that letter, saying it was the beginning of our relationship. When I speak of Ossie, I'm also including Ms. Ruby Dee. The most important lesson I learned from them was: Have strong political convictions; don't worry about whether they'll hurt your job prospects. Ruby and Ossie are examples of artists who did not try to divorce their politics from their work. I have a big void in my life with the passing of Ossie Davis. He played a huge part in my development not only as a filmmaker, but as a human being. We at 40 Acres & a Mule are proud of the work and friendship Ruby and Ossie shared with us. Our prayers go out to Ms. Dee and her family. (Davis died of natural causes in Miami Beach.)

Originally posted Nov 25, 2005 Published in issue #856-857 Dec 30, 2005 Order article reprints