He’s known as the quintessential tough guy, but actor Robert Davi is a veritable softie when it comes to animals – especially his four dogs!
“After a day of going crazy with work, what I like to do is come home and have those little faces greet me at the door,” he says of black pugs Cleo and Bogie, bulldog Captain Jack, and Zero, a Dalmatian he shares with daughter Ariana. “They’re my refuge. My little angels, they know when you’re not feeling well, and they all have different personalities.”
As an entertainer, Davi has cultivated a few personas to call his own. Best known as agent Bailey Malone in the NBC crime series Profiler, he also played evil drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film, Licence to Kill and villain Jake Fratelli in the 1985 movie, The Goonies. But this fall, Davi unveiled a hidden talent: he released his critically acclaimed debut album, a collection of Sinatra favorites called Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance.
“I’ve played a lot of great characters over the years and you’re defined by those characters,” says the actor, who has more than 100 movie and TV credits. “I play tough guys but I have been singing since I was as a kid and now I’m singing again and I love it. I feel like I have been let out of jail.”
While he has no intentions of giving up his day job, Davi is thrilled with his new role as a singer, which includes a 3-night concert at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, from Feb. 23-25. The Venetian, of course, was built on the site of the old Sands casino, where Sinatra once reigned with the Rat Pack.
One other thing Davi has in common with the Chairman of the Board: their love for animals. Says Davi: “I just love that story that [his daughter] Tina Sinatra tells. When she was a little girl she asked Frank, ‘Where’s heaven?’ and he said, ‘It’s the place where animals go when they die.’ And when he died, she put biscuits in his hands to bring with him to heaven.”
Last Dec. 5, Davi lost his longtime companion, a 9-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff named Stella. “I think of her when I’m reminded of Tina’s story.”