Acclaimed Actor, Bond Villain Robert Davi Joins GIFF’s Secret and Spies Launch!

A note of caution to attendees of the GI Film Festival’s “Secret and Spies” opening gala salute to 50 years of James Bond — a real Bond villain will be lurking in the shadows.  Acclaimed actor Robert Davi, who portrayed drug kingpin Franz Sanchez in the Bond film Licence to Kill will be on-hand to launch festival week at a black tie event to be held on May 6, 2013 at the Signature Theater in Shirlington Village. Tickets on sale now!

Davi is one of the film industry’s most respected and recognized tough guys on the big screen and television with more than 100 film and television credits to his name, including Die Hard, The Goonies, Raw Deal, and The ProfilerInterview Magazine has called him “a latter-day Humphrey Bogart” and GQ magazine has compared him to silver screen classics Robert Mitchum and Lee Marvin.  (Click here to read more about Robert Davi’s film and television credits.)

Davi is also a world class jazz vocalist currently with a critically hailed album Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance and a concert tour selling out in cities across America.

The GIFF Secret and Spies launch will be first-class and unforgettable, featuring signature cocktails and hor dourves, Baccarat tables, palm readers, a silent auction, sleek Aston Martin Cars and, of course, Bond girls.  Don’t miss it!  Get your tickets now.  This event will sell out quickly!

(Proceeds from the gala will benefit the GI Film Festival, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the stories of American veterans through film and television.)

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ROBERT DAVI BIOGRAPHY

Robert Davi is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and what many are finding out, an extraordinary jazz vocalist and heir apparent to Frank Sinatra as stated by Quincy Jones, “As FS would say, ‘Koo, Koo.’ Wow! I have never heard anyone come this close to Sinatra’s sound and still be himself. Many try, but Robert Davi has the voice, tone, the flavor and the swagger. What a surprise.”

From his portrayal of James Bond villain Franz Sanchez in “Licence to Kill” to FBI profiler Bailey Malone in “Profiler,” Robert Davi is one of the film industry’s most recognized tough guys, whether on the big screen or on television. Interview Magazine has called him “a latter-day Humphrey Bogart” and GQ Magazine has compared him to silver screen classics Robert Mitchum and Lee Marvin. His tough exterior masks a powerful inner sensitivity, which he calls upon for his most notorious roles providing complexity to characters even where, initially, it was not present. This entertainer always gives passion and heart to all he does. One has to only listen to his debut music album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance (Fontana/Universal Music Group), to experience it.

Davi has always loved to sing and entertain. At 15, he received acclaim for his voice, having been awarded First Place in the prestigious New York State School Music Association Solo Competition. As a young adult, he studied under several top vocal teachers including the legendary Tito Gobbi, Dan Ferro of Juilliard, Samuel Margolis (who taught Robert Merrill) and most recently, renowned vocal coach Gary Catona.

In October of 2011, Davi released Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance (produced by Grammy award-winning producer Phil Ramone) to rave reviews. Within weeks of its highly anticipated release, the album soared onto Billboard Magazine’s Top 10 Jazz Chart taking the number 6 spot for several weeks.

Davi’s purpose for making the album was not necessarily about his “return” to singing. It was motivated by a much deeper purpose. Davi calls The Great American Songbook, “’The Shakespeare of America,’ the golden age of American music.” In his words, “This collection of unforgettable masterpieces helped the world fall in love with our country. During my parents’ time, while our country faced many difficulties, this music helped it glow with promise and optimism. It reminded them that our country was a place where dreams come true, and inspired people from all over the world to find for themselves the magic that was America. And Frank Sinatra’s Voice was the soundtrack for their lives.” With the many challenges the world is facing today, Davi found it imperative to voice the relevance of The Great American Songbook. The album “is a journey through different aspects of love – from the seduction and elation of falling in love to the loss and heartbreak of it and then back to its rediscovery. It is a metaphor for this great country of ours, that no matter how hard times are, the Best is Yet to Come.”

In support of his album release, Davi is touring the U.S. with his live stage show, receiving standing ovations. He has performed at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas for a three-night engagement, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza with a 55-piece orchestra, the National Italian-American Foundation’s (NIAF) 35th Anniversary Awards Gala at the Washington Hilton, the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif., and with David Foster at the Beverly Hilton, among other venues.

In his early acting years, Davi attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship. He then moved to Manhattan, New York where he studied with the legendary acting coach Stella Adler, who became his mentor. Davi became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, where he studied with acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Always perfecting his craft, Davi studied under Sandra Seacat, Larry Moss, Milton Katselas, Martin Landau, Mala Powers, and George Shdanoff, the creative partner and collaborator with Michael Chekhov (actor/director highly regarded for his acting technique).

Davi was introduced to film when he was cast opposite Frank Sinatra in the telefilm, “Contract on Cherry Street.” Later, his work as a Palestinian terrorist in the award-winning television movie, “Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami” brought him critical acclaim and caught the eye of legendary James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli and writer Richard Maibaum, who cast Davi as Colombian drug lord and lead villain Franz Sanchez in the Bond film “Licence to Kill.” Today, Davi is one of the top Bond villains of all time ranking as high as number 2 on many lists. Davi also received critical acclaim within the industry for his provocative portrayal of Bailey Malone in “Profiler.” The show struck a chord with audiences, paving the way for such shows as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Without a Trace,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” Criminal Minds (in which Davi has guest starred), and many others. In 2004, Davi joined the cast of television’s “Stargate: Atlantis,” which earned Davi many sci-fi fans. He has also shown his comedic strength in films such as “The 4th Tenor” with Rodney Dangerfield and “The Hot Chick,” produced by Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler.

Having appeared in more than 100 motion pictures, some of Davi’s most notable film credits span 30 years and include cult-classics and blockbuster hits such as “The Goonies,” “Raw Deal,” “Die Hard,” “Son of the Pink Panther,” and “Showgirls.” He has worked with such directors as Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, Blake Edwards, John McTiernan, and Paul Verhoeven, and has worked on film projects with acting talent such as Marlon Brando, Roberto Benigni, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Glover, and Catherine Zeta Jones, to name a few.

In 2007, Davi produced, directed, co-wrote, and starred in “The Dukes,” which tells the story of a once-successful Doo Wop group who fall on hard times. The film won nine awards including the coveted Coup de Coeur award. Davi was also awarded Best First-time Director and Best Screenplay in the Monte Carlo Festival of Comedy by the legendary director Ettore Scola where Prince Albert presented him with the awards. Davi was the only first-time director in the Premiere Section of the International Rome Film Festival along with Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Sidney Lumet, Julie Taymor, and others.

In 2011, Davi starred with Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken in “Kill the Irishmen,” the true story of Danny Greene, the infamous Irish-American mobster. Davi’s latest major motion picture, another true story, “The Iceman,” is set to release in 2013. The film also stars Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, James Franco, David Schwimmer, and Ray Liotta.

Besides working in music, film and television, and raising his five children, four dogs, and two cats, Davi keeps busy volunteering his time with such charities as The Dream Foundation, Exceptional Children’s Foundation, Heart of a Child Foundation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Youth Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, Heart of a Horse, NIAF, and UNICO National. He is also the National Spokesperson for i-SAFE. In December of 2011, he released a Christmas single, “Mistletoe and Holly” that benefited The Salvation Army.

Davi has received the George Mitchell Estabrook Distinguished Service Award, the STEP Award, the FBI’s Man of the Year Award, the Sons of Italy’s Royal Court of the Golden Lion Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Board of Governors. He is currently the only civilian serving on The Steering Committee of the George Washington Homeland Security Policy Institute.