1928 - 2017
CLIFFORD DAVID, best known for his thrilling singing voice in such Broadway musicals as WILDCAT, 1776 and ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER has passed away peacefully in Los Angeles at 89.
Clifford was born in Toledo, Ohio, the youngest son of Farris and Lily (nee Abdow). His Uncle was Metropolitan Samuel David of Toledo, the Archbishop of a diocese of Syrian Orthodox parishes. Samuel's chanting of the Byzantine Mass was world renowned, and Clifford, inspired by his Uncle's voice, went to New York to pursue music and theater.
A protégé of Lee Strasberg's, Clifford made his Broadway debut as Scipio in Albert Camus' CALIGULA directed by Sidney Lumet. Additionally, Clifford played Pasquale in THE ASPERN PAPERS directed by Margaret Webster; Antipholus in the 1963 Off Broadway revival of THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE; Laertes in Joseph Papp's HAMLET; Lord Byron in the Lincoln Center production of Tennessee Williams' CAMINO REAL.
A member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, Clifford's filmography includes roles in INVITATION TO A GUNFIGHTER; RESURRECTION; M. Night Shyamalan's SIGNS; and he played Beethoven in BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. Also, over the years, Clifford made numerous appearances in episodic television.
A member of the Actors Studio from 1962, Clifford worked with many of the greats of American Theater, Film and Television. He told wonderful stories of drinking with Richard Burton and shopping with Marilyn Monroe. He was working with Monroe on a play entitled THE CAT, adapted from a Colette novel by Arthur Miller, when she died.
A man who exuded a joy for living, Clifford was also a beloved acting teacher, singing coach, father and friend.
Predeceased by his parents and his brothers Alex and Fred, Clifford is survived by his daughter, Lily Lambert; his sons Ted, James and Tim Otis; his former wife Elsa Lambert and their grandchildren Julian, Ginger and Victoria; as well as Nieces, Nephews and Cousins in Worcester Massachusetts and Toledo Ohio.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the MPTF (Motion Picture and Television Fund) Foundation 51151 Los Angeles, CA 90051-9727.
Published in New York Times from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12, 2017.