November 26, 1945
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Daniel Davis, with his salt-and-pepper hair and wry smile, came to TV prominence in middle age as Niles, the British butler and cook, on "The Nanny" TV series (CBS, 1993-99). The Arkansas native has a long resume of stage credits, including performances with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the national tour of "Coco" with Katharine Hepburn, a stint off-Broadway in "Futz," as a replacement as the repentant Salieri in "Amadeus" on Broadway and in numerous productions with the American Shakespeare Festival and the American Conservatory Theatre.Eventually, he migrated to Los Angeles and began making episodic guest appearances on such series as "Frank's Place" and "Cagney & Lacey," before winning a regular, albeit supporting, role as the calculating Eliot Carrington (1979-83) on the short-lived NBC daytime series "Texas" (1979-83). By the late 80s, he began to win supporting parts in features. In "K-9" (1989), Davis was car dealer Halstead whose secret was his ties to the drug world. In "The Hunt for Red October" (1990), he was Captain Davenport, clearly skeptical of the motives of a Soviet submarine crew wanting to defect. His TV work was often sporadic, but he earned notice as Patrick Henry in the 1986 CBS miniseries "George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation." But it has been his turn as the wittily acerbic Niles on "The Nanny" that has brought him the most attention. Davis' character is the champion of Fran Drescher's rough-around-the-edges title character.