(written from a Production point of view)
Daniel Davis (born 26 November 1945; age 75) played the role of the holographic Professor James Moriarty in the Star Trek: The Next Generation second and sixth season episodes "Elementary, Dear Data" and "Ship in a Bottle". Despite the British accent he uses in this role, Davis is actually an American from Gurdon, Arkansas, who normally speaks with a distinctive Southern accent.
Davis first gained recognition as a star on the short-lived NBC soap opera Texas from 1980 through 1982. He went on to have a recurring roles on the television series Dynasty (starring Joan Collins) during the 1987-1988 season. He is best known, however, for playing Niles, the butler, on the CBS series The Nanny during its entire six-season run from 1993 through 1999.
He also made guest appearances on such programs as The A-Team (starring his TNG castmate Dwight Schultz, in an episode with Jeannetta Arnette), Cheers (with Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane), Hardcastle and McCormick (starring Brian Keith and Daniel Hugh Kelly, with Louis Giambalvo), L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake, with Dakin Matthews), Civil Wars (with Rene Auberjonois, Erick Avari, Carolyn Seymour, and Barbara J. Tarbuck), Murder, She Wrote (with Cliff DeYoung, Robert Lansing, Arlee Reed, and William Windom) and Frasier (again featuring Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane). Among his many TV movie credits is 1987's The Spirit, co-starring Garry Walberg, Bumper Robinson, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actress Nana Visitor.
As a stage actor, Davis has performed in numerous Broadway shows, including renditions of William Shakespeare's King Henry V (with Len Cariou in the title role and Robert Foxworth also in the cast) and Othello (working with James Cromwell). During the early 1980s, he and Frank Langella were among those who portrayed Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (F. Murray Abraham played the role in the film version). In 2000, Davis received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Wrong Mountain. Davis played the role Georges in the 2004 Broadway revival of the musical La Cage aux Folles, working with Ruth Williamson.
Davis once also played the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, which also featured Gates McFadden, Ned Vaughn, Timothy Carhart, Boris Krutonog, and Ronald Guttman. Davis' other film credits include 1989's K-9 (also featuring Jeff Allin, Gary Combs, Sherman Howard, William Sadler, and Kevin Tighe) and 1990's Havana (co-starring Tony Plana). He was most recently seen as a judge in the acclaimed 2006 drama The Prestige, along with Christopher Neame and W. Morgan Sheppard.
Other Trek connections
Additional projects in which Davis worked with other Star Trek alumni include:
- In Fashion (1974 televised stage performance, with Ken Jenkins)
- Doonesbury: A Broadway Musical (1983 film, with Keith Szarabajka)
- Cagney & Lacey episode "Lady Luck" (1984, with Helene Udy)
- The Eagle and the Bear (1985 TV movie, with Jeff Allin, Sherman Howard, and Deborah May)
- Remington Steele episode "Gourmet Steele" (1985, with Dakin Matthews and Deborah May)
- Blind Justice (1986 TV movie, with Jack Blessing and Anne Haney)
- Matlock episode "The Professor" (1986, with Nicholas Cascone, Michael Durrell, and Christopher McDonald)
- The Equalizer episode "Video Games" (1988, with Andreas Katsulas)
- Dynasty episode "The Scandal" (1988, with Ian Abercrombie and George Murdock)
- The Perfect Tribute (1991 TV movie, with Dakin Matthews and Bruce McGill)
- Columbo: No Time to Die (1992 TV movie, with Lance LeGault)
- The Nanny episodes:
- "My Fair Nanny" (1993, with Nikki Cox)
- "The Butler, The Husband, The Wife and Her Mother" (1993, with Ian Abercrombie and Brian George)
- "Imaginary Friend" (1993, with Cristine Rose)
- "Maggie the Model" (1994, with Andy Dick)
- "Pishke Business" (1994, with Wallace Shawn and Ben Vereen)
- "Stock Tip" (1994, with Corbin Bernsen)
- "The Nanny Behind the Man" (1995, with George Murdock)
- "Franny and the Professor" (1995, with Michael McKean)
- "Val's Apartment" (1995, with David L. Lander)
- "The Unkindest Gift" (1995, with Joe Lando)
- "The Tart with Heart" (1996, with Jason Alexander)
- "Me and Mrs. Joan" (1996, with Joan Collins)
- "Samson, He Denied Her" (1997, with Robert Costanzo)
- "You Bette Your Life" (1997, with Ed Begley, Jr.)
- "The Pre-Nup" (1998, with Whoopi Goldberg)
- "Making Whoopi" (1998, with Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Bergeron)
- Duckman episode "Duckman and Cornfed in 'Haunted Society Plumbers'" (1997, with Jason Alexander (voices only))
- Men in Black: The Series episode "The Undercover Syndrome" (1997, with Jennifer Lien and Charles Napier (voices only))
- Rugrats episode "All's Well That Pretends Well/Big Babies" (1999, with Michael Bell (voices only))
- The Practice episodes:
- Thru the Moebius Strip (2005 animated film, with Michael Dorn and Jean Simmons, voices only)
In addition to this, through his role as the Moriarty hologram, both Davis and Benedict Cumberbatch have portrayed characters associated with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.