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William Bruce Davis (born January 13, 1938) is a Canadianmarker actor, known for his role as the Cigarette Smoking Man on The X-Files. He has also appeared in Stargate SG-1 as Damaris, a Prior of the Ori and as Mayor Tate on Smallville. Most recently he has appeared in ABC's Masters of Science Fiction as the President of the United States.

Davis was born in Toronto, Ontariomarker, to an attorney father and psychologist mother. In 1959, he graduated from the University of Torontomarker with a B.A. in philosophy. Afterwards, he went on to become a drama professor at Bishop's Universitymarker. He is also the founder of the William Davis Centre for Actors Study acting school in Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker. He is also a former national champion water skier. Despite being known for his smoking character, Davis actually quit smoking in the 1970s; when The X-Files started up, he was given a choice between herbal cigarettes and actual cigarettes. At first he chose the actual cigarettes, but switched to herbal shortly after for fear of becoming addicted again while playing the Cigarette Smoking Man.

Davis also hosts and narrates the series Critical Eye on the Science Channel.

Paranormal beliefs

Despite being on a TV show that did a lot to popularize UFOs and paranormal topics, Davis is an atheist and a skeptic.


  1. William B. Davis Biography (1938-)
  2. The Amateur Scientist: The Amateur Scientist Podcast: Episode 10
  3. William B. Davis - An Interview
  4. William B. Davis - Celebrity Atheist List

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