Saluting Don S. Davis

Open the iris.

Windom Earle: Garland, what do you fear most… in the world?

Major Garland Briggs (drugged with sodium pentothal): The possibility that love is not enough.

Q. Gauti has just informed me that Don S. Davis, the prolific character actor best known for his role as General Hammond on Stargate SG-1, passed away last weekend following a massive heart attack. Oof.

Stargate’s rad and all, but I’ll always remember Davis as the stern but gentle Major Garland Briggs on Twin Peaks, truly one of the most lovable supporting characters in television history.

Rest in peace, good sir. Safe travels to the White Lodge.

24 Responses to “Saluting Don S. Davis”

  1. k paul blume Says:

    oh, damn. thanks. hadn’t heard about this…nor read of it in our wretched morning paper.
    good, solid, reliable actor.

  2. lizzelizzel Says:

    oh no! wasn’t he Scully’s father in the X-Files too?

  3. Nemo Bion Says:

    A fine actor. He shall be missed.

  4. Mark Says:

    I’m with you, Mer – Garland Briggs all the way! I always tend to associate him with that epic line from season two…

    “Garland, what do you fear most in the world?”
    “The possibility that love is not enough.”

    Personally though, I prefer his beautifully tight-lipped, emotionally calcified delivery in the short monologue during his and Bobby’s greatest scene together, pre-Laura’s funeral:

    “Robert, I note your reluctance to enter into a dialogue with me, your father. There are times when silence is golden…in fact, silence can be taken many ways – as a sign of intelligence; the quieter we become, the more we hear. [slaps a freshly lit cig from Bobby’s lips] Now, I am a tolerant man, but my patience has its limits! To have his path made clear is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence, and Robert, you and I are going to work to make yours real clear…”

    RIP Don, you were and are a welcome name to see on any cast list. *salutes, Briggs-style*

  5. Mark Says:

    *points up*
    i meant “pre-Laura’s funeral, around the family dinner table”, as opposed to immediately pre-, which is obviously what you’ve posted in the piece – another well-chosen scene for the two of them! ;)

  6. ledh Says:

    NOOO. I amwatching Season 6 of Stargate SG-1 and he is sooo awesome. :(

    May you rest in peace, you were a great actor.

  7. sakara75 Says:

    Oh my gods…that man was one of the true gentlemen of the world. I met him a few years back at a stargate convention and he was so nice, spending time chatting to all the fans. He also showed his amazing artwork or ink-dot paintings. they were stunning.
    Rest in Peace , fine texan gentleman

  8. Mer Says:

    Mark, yes, that dinner scene is so incredible. Searched for it on youtube, couldn’t find a version with proper sound. Alas. (Also corrected flubbed quotation that I’d added from memory. Gracias.)

    Sakara, I had no idea he made art as well, thanks for the heads up! *scurries off to find some*

    Lizzie, yes, he played Dana’s dad, Captain William Scully. (A bit typecast, was Davis. But to great effect.)

  9. Mer Says:

    Wow. Just found Davis’ art website, and I’m stunned. There’s some beautiful work:

    don s davis art 1

    don s davis art 2

  10. Mark Says:

    Oh, Mer – so sorry, I bet that ‘correction’ looked totally sarcastic, haha! I’d completely failed to notice that you’d actually posted the same quote, it wasn’t a correction at all…mine was totally from memory too! *must read more carefully before postingggggg, GNNN!!*

    Aaanyway – holy crap, those artworks are indeed amazing. I had no idea. What a man!

  11. Mer Says:

    No worries, mate!

  12. dan Says:

    it’s such a shame that he died, he was such a great actor. i loved him in Stargate and the spinoffs, and have seen him in other works too. He shall truly be missed.

  13. Peter S. Says:

    He always struck me as the acting equivalent of a building’s (particularly solid) foundation. Easy to miss, low to the ground, but setting up everything else (and when it’s missing the whole building leans shakily back & forth). This is not to say his work was in any way invisible, just that he seemed always to be comfortable shaping the focus rather than seeking it.

    I always enjoyed his work, be it TV or film. It’s sad that it took this post for me to see the fantastic painting, drawing, carving and set design the man did. (I’d LOVE to see Macbeth done on the set he had on the website.) And then to see he was a Captain, and a Ph.D.? Sheesh…

  14. john colby Says:

    Don’t forget the head of the white lodge was also Scully’s dad on the X-files. Great voice i’m surprise he wasn’t huge with voice over work.

  15. William Kiesel Says:

    So long Major Briggs!

    I always wanted to write a paper about the esotericism of Twin Peaks, particularly the Black Lodge symbolism, though there are other motifs from the western esoteric tradition throughout the series as well.

    Thanks for the update.

    Kind Regards,

    William Kiesel
    Ouroboros Press

  16. Skerror Says:

    Briggs was the man. I loved the scene before his disappearance where he went fishing with Cooper as well. Grand-scale straight arrow good guy banter between those two!

    I’ma get a little sad pang whenever we lose anyone from the Twin Peaks cast :(

  17. Allison Says:

    Now my longstanding dream of a Garland Briggs headed rescue mission into Black Lodge will never be realized.
    Someone on mefi posted this, which was really one of the high points of the show for me, and his monolgue in the X Files ep “One Breath” was masterful, and never fails to make me cry.
    Davis really seemed to embody what people mean when they say, “Hey! It’s that guy!” He was just one of those actors whose name wasn’t known but whose bearing, warmth, and talent were always recognized and remembered.

  18. David Forbes Says:

    He will be missed, I first encountered him on the X-Files and only later discovered Twin Peaks and Stargate. He was the sort of actor who served as the backbone for any show he was in.

    That art is amazing, definitely more to Mr. Davis than met the eye. It’s a reminder of what Nadya said about Carlin’s passing, and what we should all do: pick one person — still living — that interests you and research the shit out of ’em.

  19. Nadya Says:

    Beautiful drawings. RIP.

  20. Gav Callear Says:

    R.I.P. Don.

    Many a year I have watched Stargate and seen Hammond as both a role-model and a Father fihure.

    I just found out and it teisted my guts more than I’d have ever predicted.

    I don’t know if Mr Davis was anything like his characters…but if he was even remotely similar, the Universe has lost a great man!

    My heart goes out to his friends and family, along with anyone who worked with him as I’m sure he made an impact on all whom he met.

    Whatever his interests in life…the sentiment remains the same…

    Rock on Don. We love you!

  21. GoodGirl Says:

    He was a great actor in so many movies and patrs he played…

    I will miss him endlessly. Speacially cause I’m a Stargate-fan and to know that this wonderful man is truely gone just made my tears come up…

    May god be mercyful and may he be resurrected…

  22. dee Says:

    i cant believe don is dead i think he is a great man and i hoped to meat him one day. i will really miss him

  23. AFocusedForce Says:

    Don S. Davis was “for me anyways” General Hammond, never before has and actor and a man been so perfect for a role and so articulate to his trade. I would so have loved to meet him while in the company of SG1 and the key players on Stargate.

    I truly hope that he has found the true Stargate and will forever live on in this world and many others.

    I remain a true fan and hope to purchase some of his artwork as a reminder to his greatness and spirit.

    William Comeau
    8-6-2009 @4:18pm

  24. Susan Says:

    hi, I have a print of Mr Allen of the ozarks by Don S Davis and I want to sell it. Do you know how I could find a value