Monday, 13 February 2012

Ken's Girls : Sammi Davis

For Matthew ;)

Not to be confused with Sammy Davis Jnr of course; "As you can see luv, I'm not him" she said in a 1987 interview "Oh I get jokes all the time" But the name, she would stress, wasn't a publicity ploy "I'm not that thick, it's my real name"  Sammi Davis was a chirpy little blonde from Kidderminster who for a time in the 1980s seemed to be in everything.

As a young prostitute Bob Hoskins comes into contact with in Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa

The flighty sister in John Boorman's WWII home front love letter, Hope And Glory

And as Anna, the blind girl who wanted IRA man Mickey Rourke vows to protect in A Prayer For The Dying

Indeed, so enamoured was the pre mutilated Rourke that he signed a photo of himself to her dedicated thus (spelling errors are his by the way) 'To Sammi - the most tallented actress I ever meet. Love Mickey.

The photo took pride of place in her flat's hallway for sometime.

She was also a Russell regular, a Ken girl :)


It was 1988 when she was cast as one of the sweet Trent sisters in Ken's wild, camp homage to Hammer The Lair Of The White Worm, a film loosely based, loosely on Bram Stoker's novel and the Lambton Worm myth. It's an absolute scream of a movie, one which everyone involved was clearly having a ball in making, and has the infamous airline dream sequence of Hugh Grant's Lordship, which Sammi played her part in

Before resuming back to standard damsel in distress alongside Catherine Oxenburg as her sister

Ken was clearly impressed as he rapidly cast her in his next project the following year, a 'prequel' of sorts to his previous DH Lawrence adaptation Women In Love, The Rainbow in which she would take the lead as the young(er) Ursula Brangwen

It's my favourite of her performances, as she captures an innocence and a strong willed determination that is at the heart of Lawrence's heroine.

She's seen her modelling for old lech, and fellow Russell regular,  Dudley Sutton in one of the film's many controversial and erotic scenes

Another was the lesbian storyline featuring her former White Worm co star Amanda Donahoe

After that, and a role in the movie Chernobyl, Hollywood called and Sammi upped sticks to go Stateside where she scored a prominent role in the TV drama Homefront as Sammi Davis-Voss (having married director Kurt Voss in 1991) However by 1994 she was guesting in soft porn melodrama The Red Shoe Diaries  and it wasn't until Four Rooms a year later that she registered internationally once more.

She retired from acting for a good ten years, presumably to bring up her daughters, and began to carve out a career as a photographer (taking photos of fellow actors for the trade directories) before she guest starred in the bafflingly successful and popular drama Lost. In 2008 she starred in The Double Born and picked up several best actress awards on the circuit.

But since then, there has been little word once more.

She has had an interesting life; she witnessed the fatal drowning of her four year old brother Shaun when she was six. "My town was grey and nothing happened...awful things happened" she said when recollecting her childhood. She left Convent School at fifteen and tried half heartedly to work as a receptionist for her father's advertising firm before setting her heart on acting. At 17 she joined The Big Brum Theatre Company and fell for the director, Peter Wilson. It was the start of a two year relationship and a habit of hers to have relationships with colleagues; she would later spend eight months with Mona Lisa's Neil Jordan. 


  1. Didn't know any of that biographical stuff. Interesting.
    That air hostess fantasy is classic Ken.

    Red Shoe Diaries, you say?....

    1. Yes I believe so, haven't seen it I'm afraid...honest!