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Gail Davis ACTOR


Gail Davis was born on October 5th, 1925 in Little Rock, Arkansas with the birth name Betty Jeanne Grayson.  Her father, W.B Grayson was a local doctor and her mother was a home maker.  Her family moved from McGehee to Little Rock Arkansas where she was raised after her father got a job as state health officer.  She grew up exposed to show business showing an interest in signing and dancing from a very young age.  She attended Little Rock High School and also was a tom boy growing up showing a major interest in horses.    
After completing her education, she went on to study first at the Harcum Junior College for Girls in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and thrn on to The University of Texas studying dramatics.  She met her first husband, Robert Davis in 1945 and they had one daughter together.  Directly following World War II, she moved with her family to Los Angeles, California and  worked as a hatcheck girl.  It was a talent agent who was discovered her and was able to set up a screen test with MGM.  She did very well and was signed to a contract with her first screen debut in, "The Romance of Rosy Ridge" (1947).  
Her career was heading in the right direction with film after film and she worked with some of the most well known actors such as Gene Autry for fourteen films total.  It was Autry who was so highly impressed with Davis that he changed her stage name to Gail Davis and then cast her in the role she is known best for today, the star of the, "Annie Oakley" television series.  This series ran from 1954 to 1956 and was produced through Gene Autry's company, Flying A Productions.
Her character was a sharp shooting female heroine who appeared sweet and innocent at only 5 feet tall and weighing less then 100 pounds.  She would outsmart criminals and performed many of her own stunts since she had experience with horses during her years growing up.

Besides her successful television career, Davis did star in many films such as, "Merton of the Movies" (1947) starring Red Skelton, "West of Wyoming" (1950), "Operation Pacific" which starred John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond and Philip Carey, "Texans Never Cry" (1951), "Flying Leathernecks" (1951) starring John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Jay C. Flippen, Janis Carter and Don Taylor, "The Old West" (1952) and "Winning of the West" (1953).   
Upon her television series coming to an end, she appeared in a film, "Jessie James" (1959) as her character, Annie Oakley alongside such actors as, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Roy Rogers, James Garner and Bret Maverick
Some other television appearances she made were on, "The Lone Ranger", "The Gene Autry Show", "The Cisco Kid", "The Range Rider" and "Death Valley Days".  In 1961, she made her final appearance on, "The Andy Griffith Show" in which she once again was able to show off her sharp shooting talent. 

Gail Davis retired in the San Fernando Valley and made a couple guest appearances at western memorabilia shows and various film festivals.  Gail Davis passed away on March 15th, 1997 at the age of seventy one in Los Angeles, California from cancer.  She is interred at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Cemetery.  
Gail Davis was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to television.  She was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.  Gail Davis made her final public appearance in 1994 when she was awarded the Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund.  In total she appeared in 32 films and a number of television appearances.  Many female viewers admired her from her televison role in "Annie Oakley" as she took on a male character on showed that woman could fill that position too, earning her many female admirers.   

1973   Coffy 
1961   The Andy Griffith Show
1959   Alias Jesse James  
1954-1957  Annie Oakley 
1950-1954  The Gene Autry Show 
1953   Pack Train 
1952-1953  Death Valley Days
1953   Goldtown Ghost Riders  
1953   On Top of Old Smoky 
1953   Winning of the West 
1952   Blue Canadian Rockies  
1952   The Adventures of Kit Carson 
1950-1952  The Lone Ranger 
1950-1952  The Cisco Kid
1952   Wagon Team
1952   The Old West  
1952   The Range Rider
1951   Overland Telegraph 
1951   Valley of Fire  
1951   Flying Leathernecks
1951   Yukon Manhunt
1951   Take Care of My Little Girl  
1951   Silver Canyon 
1951   Whirlwind 
1951   Texans Never Cry 
1951   Operation Pacific
1950   Indian Territory  
1950   Cow Town
1950   Six Gun Mesa 
1950   West of Wyoming
1950   Trail of the Rustlers 
1949   Sons of New Mexico  
1949   They Live by Night  
1949   South of Death Valley  
1949   Brand of Fear 
1949   The Judge Steps Out  
1949   Law of the Golden West  
1949   Frontier Investigator  
1949   Death Valley Gunfighter
1948   The Far Frontier  
1948   If You Knew Susie  
1947   The Romance of Rosy Ridge 
1947   Let's Make Rhythm
1947   In Room 303  

Matinee Classics - The Far Frontier starring Roy Rogers, Trigger, Gail Davis, Andy Devine, Francis Ford, Clayton Moore and Roy Barcroft
Matinee Classics - Sons of New Mexico starring Gene Autry, Gail Davis, Champion, Robert Armstrong, Dick Jones, Frankie Darro, Irving Bacon and Clayton Moore
Matinee Classics - Silver Canyon starring Gene Autry, Pat Buttram, Gail Davis, Jim Davis, Bob Steele, Edgar Dearing, Richard Alexander, Terry Frost, Peter Mamakos, Steve Clark, Stanley Andrews, Duke York, Eugene Borden and Champion
Matinee Classics - On Top of Old Smoky starring Gene Autry, Gail Davis,  Smiley Burnette, Champion, Grandon Rhodes, Sheila Ryan and Kenne Duncan
Matinee Classics - Indian Territory starring Gene Autry, Gail Davis, Kirby Grant, Pat Buttram, Philip Van Zandt  and James Griffith
Matinee Classics - Cow Town with Gene Autry and Gail Davis
Matinee Classics - Annie Oakley starring Gail Davis, Brad Johnson, Jimmy Hawkins and Bob Woodward
Matinee Classics - The Old West starring Gene Autry, Gail Davis, Champion, Lyle Talbot, Louis Jean Heydt and House Peters
Matinee Classics - Santa Claus Wears a Gun starring Gail Davis, Jimmy Hawkins and Brad Johnson
Matinee Classics - Pack Train starring Gene Autry, Gale Davis, Kenne Duncan, Sheila Ryan, Tom London, Smiley Burnette and Champion

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