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Biography #2 (for The Secret Lives of Dentists)

Botticellian beauty, "lithe ... with an edge that is at once sarcastic and sexy, a crisp brand of intelligence, patrician, and swan-like" are just some of the terms critics have used to describe the impact Hope Davis has on screen.

But beyond the physical, Davis has been noted for the precision she brings to her performances. Her work in the current hit film, About Schmidt, was called pitch perfect by Newsweek. Co-star Campbell Scott, a long-time colleague who also directed her in his feature Final, was quoted as saying that she's engaging even if she's doing nothing. Director Alan Rudolph describes the quality simply as truth.

A graduate of Vassar college, Davis has had a life-long interest in acting. Her first professional break came in 1988, when Joel Schumacher cast her in the Chicago production of David Mamet's play, Speed the Plow, in the role originated by Madonna on Broadway. The Chicago Tribune heaped praise on her honed characterization.

She broke into film with small roles in Flatliners, Home Alone and Kiss of Death. Her first lead came in 1996 The Daytrippers, when a young director, Greg Mottola, tailored the central role to Davis. The micro-budget film executive produced by Campbell Scott -- co-starred Liev Schrieber, Parker Posey, Anne Meara and Stanley Tucci. It won the grand prize at Slamdance, as well as critical and commercial success, and was one of the Cinderella stories of the 1990s. Another indie-hit, Bart Freundlich's The Myth of Fingerprints followed soon thereafter.

Since then, Davis has starred opposite Anthony Hopkins in Scott Hicks' film version of the Stephen King novel Heart in Atlantis, opposite Denis Leary in Final, for director Campbell Scott and in USA Films Joe Gould's Secret, directed by Stanley Tucci.

Other films include the political thriller Arlington Road, opposite Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack; Lawrence Kasdan's Mumford; the comedy Mr. Wrong, starring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Pullman, and Brad Anderson's critically acclaimed Next Stop Wonderland, a Grand Jury Prize nominee at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. She was also seen in Stanley Tucci's The Impostors.

Davis will soon been seen opposite Paul Giamatti in American Splendor, soon to be released by HBO/Fine Line Features. The film took the 2003 Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize, with Davis' performance rated thoroughly wonderful by Variety.

Davis long list of theater credits including the lead in Rebecca Gilman's Spinning into Butter at Lincoln Center Theater, Ivanov opposite Kevin Kline, Two Shakespearean Actors at the Lincoln Center Theater and Camino Real at the famed Williamstown Theater Festival. Davis has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions, including Pterodactyls, The Food Chain and The Icemen Cometh .

Bio courtesy Manhattan Pictures International for "The Secret Lives of Dentists" (03-Aug-2003)


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