Sandy-haired, craggy-faced, tall and lean, Roger Davis has the kind of looks most girls go to bed at night dreaming about. But not only does Roger have these more obvious assets going for him, he's also got a suave and sophisticated way with women that makes him immediately attractive to any female he meets. This, in part, explains his tremendous success as the late Peter Duel's replacement on ABC s popular western, Alias Smith and Jones.
While Duel managed to capture a large share of the show's distaff audience before his death, Roger is right up there with him, holding his own, a fact that the show's producers couldn't be more delighted about.
"I was very nervous when I took over the part," Roger admitted, remembering those dark days a year ago when he was called to fill in for the dead star.
"That first day on the set was a nightmare," he recalled. "I felt everyone was waiting to see me fail--and I felt a tremendous pressure to prove myself, to show them that I could be just as good as Peter. Of course, eventually, it all worked out because they (the people on the show) realized that I was my own man. I wasn't Peter, I never could be, and they had to like and respect me for myself. Now everything is just fine, and I love going to work every day."
Photo Caption: Roger with his actress-model wife, Jaclyn Ellen Smith, whom he met while auditioning for a commercial. Ellen, as Roger calls her, is a dark-haired beauty who has appeared in many television commercials as well as countless advertisements.
Just before the start of this season's series, Roger came to New York to film some commercials and take care of some business that had been left unfinished when he was summoned to California last year.
"I went out to California really not expecting to stay, but now Ellen and have made our home there. We have house in Westwood and one in Beverly Hills, which we rent out. Also, we still have our New York apartment, because both of us are in and out of the city so often that it's more convenient to stay there than at a hotel," he explained.
The reason the Davises are in New York so frequently has to do with their respective careers in TV commercials.
Last Spring, Ellen worked steadily for over three months filming several commercials a week. She also does print work, modeling for advertisements and fashion magazines. In fact, it was while she was waiting to audition for a commercial that she and Roger met.
According to Roger, "She and I were both sitting in the waiting room of an ad agency one day and I tried to strike up a conversation with her. Well, she gave me such a withering glance that I almost didn't even try to ask for a date. Then, after we were both through, we were standing outside the building talking when a mutual friend came along and asked her for a date! That really shattered me! Here I was trying to get a date with her and he walks up and lands one just like that."
Having a girl turn him down was a rare occurence [sic] for the good-looking actor.
Anyway, the story had a happy ending, because six weeks later Ellen and Roger were making plans to get married.
"My wife is from Houston, and she's the consumate [sic] Southern belle," he explained. She used to dance with the Houston Ballet Company and George Ballanchine took her out of it and brought her to New York. Our wedding, by the way was held in Houston and it was an unforgettable bash."
Actually, Roger and Ellen had seen each other way before they met formally. While he was appearing on the soap opera Dark Shadows, a party was held on the set and Ellen was a guest.
"Dan Curtis, the producer of the show spotted Ellen and told me that I ought to marry her," Roger laughed. "Little did he know at the time that I really would!"
Between their appearances on commercials Roger does mostly voiceovers (he's the one that sounds like Henry Fonda)his work on Alias Smith And Jones, and her work modeling. The Davises are one of show businesses busiest couples but they're also one of the happiest. They've managed to combine two demanding careers with a thriving marriage. Although they are often away from each other, at the moment they have no plans to change their life style.
"Oh, yes, we want children," Roger affirmed, "but even after we have them, I can't see my wife sitting home and not doing anything else. She's very interested in acting and there's a chance she may be doing something on television very soon. She loves her work; I would never expect her to give it up."
Although Roger is liberated in terms of his wife's working, he does draw the line at the kind of work she does.
"I don't mind going to the movies and seeing nude women as long as they are somebody else's wife not mine," he stressed.
Besides his acting career, Roger is quite a business man and has taken some of the profits of his commercials and invested them wisely in stocks and real estate. He also purchased an apartment house in Los Angeles.
"I'm really a great landlord, because I would never want someone to live in something that I wouldn't like living in," he commented.
Before his acting career began, Roger was, believe it or not a college teacher. He was an English instructor at UCLA and it's a memorable part of his life.
"I loved teaching, and I especially love teaching English because I love literature."
Roger's wife recently did an ad for Esquire
Magazine in which she told about her famous husband. It read,
"Roger always reads Esquire." The ad then went
on to list some of Roger's sterling qualities, but one quality
was omitted--he just happens to be one of the nicest actors on
TV or anywhere for that matter.
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