William B. Davis

Through the run of one of the biggest cult hits in television history, William B. Davis put a new face on villainy, an institutional, eerily real incarnation of evil identified ominously by wafting smoke and the glow of a cigarette. A native Ontarian, Davis trained as an actor in esteemed company in the U.K. during the 1960s before returning to Canada to work as a theatrical director and drama teacher, eventually relocating to Hollywood North, Vancouver, BC. The 1980s saw him garnering small parts in inauspicious Canadian-shot television and movie projects, but he would establish a regular imprint in 1993 with a new science fiction series, "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002). Davis played the shadowy, stoic intelligence operative predominantly known only by his credited billing, Cigarette Smoking Man. The show became a cultural phenomenon, with CSM ending up one of the most speculated-over villains in the buzz-happy realm of sci-fi fandom. It also made him a frequent guest star on a flurry of sci-fi and horror TV shows and movies through the 1990s and early 2000s. He would remain one of Canada's best-renowned thespian talents, both under the lights and behind them, yet be irrevocably identified as one of the creepiest personas in TV history, a gray-suited archetype of cold-blooded Machiavellianism.