On June 29th of this year, Don S. Davis, a noted science fiction actor known for his portrayal of Dana Scully’s father in The X-Files as well as Major General George Hammond in Stargate SG-1, passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Mr. Davis had planned to be a guest at Dragon*Con this year, also having been a guest of Dragon*Con 2006. The Stargate: Offworld track scheduled a time for fans to grieve and mourn the passing of this wonderful man.
Several of the Stargate guests were in attendance at the tribute, including Beau Bridges, Torri Higginson, Erick Avari, Cliff Simon, Robert Picardo, and Rainbow Sun Francks. Julie Caitlin Brown, who had been Don’s convention booking agent and friend, also attended on behalf of Don’s widow, Ruby, as well as several other Stargate actors who were unable to make it this year. The guests shared their memories of Don, which ranged from Beau mentioning the first time he met Don was on the set of SG-1 in the General’s office to Robert telling of his first meeting where he was a guest star on SG-1, and Don, who, after flubbing a line, had felt bad about how it had impacted Robert’s time onset. Cliff told the audience of how he’d met Don at Dragon*Con, two years ago, and was impressed by what a marvelous person Don was and how friendly he was. Several members of the panel were moved to tears. Torri, the last time she’d spoken to Don, had asked his advice on some financial issues she was having, but they’d kept missing the other’s phone call, so Don told his wife what Torri would be calling for, and Ruby made sure to relay Don’s instructions. Julie passed along a message from SG-1 stars Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, and Christopher Judge, saying how they felt that they’d, “lost a father.” She also relayed a thank you message from Don’s widow, moved by the outpouring of emotion at Don’s passing.
Fans were asked to share memories of Don. R. J. Lehnen, a Canadian military officer, related how he’d had an hour long conversation with Don two years ago at a group dinner, but they’d never talked about Stargate. Instead, they compared notes on military experiences as Don had been in the Air Force in his younger days. Another fan told of meeting Don at a small convention in Texas and, upon seeing him and his wife at dinner, invited them to sit with their group, and how Don and Ruby had graciously joined them. That was the epitome of what Don S. Davis was. He was a truly gracious gentlemen.
Julie Caitlin Brown brought tears to even the driest eyes and most stoic faces with a rendition of her song, “Soulmates,” which she dedicated Ruby and Don. She ended, “We love you, Don.”
Don S. Davis touched the lives of every person he met, actor and fan alike, and we are the poorer for his passing. Godspeed, Don.