In Memoriam: Edgar Leon Davis, Jr. (Acting, MFA ’95) 1962 - 2016

January 5, 2017

Edgar Leon Davis, Jr. (Acting, MFA ’95) passed away November 27, 2016 in Hardwick, Vermont, where he and Shari Cornish, his wife of 28 years, resided for the past 12 years. The 54 year old stage and film actor earned his MFA degree in acting through the U of M’s Theatre Department’s graduate program in collaboration with members of the Guthrie Theater’s acting company.  At the time of his passing Mr. Davis was surrounded by loved ones in the comfort of his home following a 4-year battle with multiple myeloma and plasma cell leukemia.

A St. Louis, Missouri native, Edgar L. Davis began his theater career in Minnesota in 1988 performing with such companies as the Penumbra Theater and the Great American History Theater. In 1995, he toured the U.S. with the Children’s' Theater Company's production of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. In 1997, he wrote a one-person show, Island of Mirrors, chronicling his adventures as an English teacher in Japan. His play was been produced on video by British director Sophia dia Pegrum in association with Vision Box Media Group in Culver City, California.  The Island of Mirrors had its River Run Film Festival premiere in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mr. Davis also appeared in Bill Paxton’s directorial film debut, Frailty.

 “Edgar worked in many film and theater productions with many great people,” reports his family, and was a member of Actor’s Equity Association, Screen Actor’s Guild and A.F.T.R.A (see listing  http://www.edgarldavis.net/eldwork.htm).

Mr. Davis’s performances include roles in Suzan Lori Parks, Pulitzer Prize winning Topdog/Underdog at the Highland Repertory Theater, Asheville, North Carolina and in Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize winning Angels in America, while an Artist in Residence at Johnson State College. Davis played baseball pioneer, Jackie Robinson in MVP, produced by the North Carolina Stage Company, later touring across North Carolina playing to schools and educational institutions. He also played in Picasso at the Lapin Agile in the Highland Repertory's production in Asheville, North Carolina. He played the role of "Sam" in Athol Fugard's, Master Harold...and the Boys at the Unadilla Theater in East Calais, Vermont. He was cast as the Skin Horse in Highland Repertory’s production of James Still's adaptation of Margery Williams' children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit at the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville, North Carolina. He played the role of Blepyrus in Highland Repertory Theater's production of Lysistrata directed by Mia Self in Asheville, North Carolina.

“Passionate about his work in theater and film, he was thrilled to have had the opportunity for his final performance to be a staged reading of the David Mamet play – RACE,” said his wife, “Edgar loved music, books, and art, but most of all he loved people --enthusiastically sharing his many interests with everyone he encountered, especially through his volunteer work and mentorships. He took special interest in young people and his positive influence on their lives has become a legacy.”

Known to his family as “Chip”, Edgar L. Davis was born in St. Louis, MO, September 12, 1962, the son of Olivia Longstreet and Edgar Leon Davis, Sr., deceased. Edgar was a graduate of University City High School, (‘80) in University City, MO; the Kansas City Art Institute (‘84) in Kansas City, MO; with a BFA in Painting & Printmaking; and The University of Minnesota (‘95) with a MFA in Acting. Edgar was proud to be an active member of the Caspian Lake Lodge No. 87 - Free and Accepted Masons

A Community Celebration of Life was held in Hardwick, VT on January 1, 2017.   A Masonic Rite Service will be followed by a Memorial Celebration to be held June 10, 2017 at Caspian Lake Lodge & The Hardwick Town House, Hardwick, VT.  Contributions in Edgar Davis 's memory may be made to the following organizations: Lamoille Area Cancer Network, 198 Farr Avenue, Morrisville, VT 05661 or Jeudevine Memorial Library, P.O. Box 536, Hardwick, VT 05843.  Friends and family interested in speaking during the June 10, 2017 Memorial Celebration are invited to contact Shari Cornish  P.O. Box 1310, Hardwick, VT  05843