Born in Florida in 1949, Brad Davis moved to Georgia in 1967 to pursue a career as an actor. He later moved to New York, and by the mid-seventies, he was performing in off-Broadway plays. During this time, he was also studying at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. Davis' stage work led him to his movie debut, and he was performing on such shows as "Sybil", the miniseries, "Roots", and, in 1978, a leading role in the movie "The Midnight Express," for which he won a Golden Globe award.
Davis contracted the AIDS virus in 1979, from either heterosexual intercourse or from his one-time cocaine addiction. Because of the anti-AIDS hysteria in Hollywood, Davis kept his condition secret and continued to act on and off-screen.
In his later years, Brad Davis finally admitted that he had AIDS, and he became an AIDS activist, bashing Hollywood and the US government for its shunning of victims of the disease. Brad Davis died in 1991, at age 41, and his widow, Susan Bluestein, continues his activist work and his fight against AIDS.