Here’s a take on actress Wendy Davis, who stepped onto the soundstage as Lt. Col. Joan Burton until the season seven finale ended the role of a dedicated soldier in the Lifetime TV series. In 2007 to 2013, “Army Wives’’ was the network’s highest-rated series in a 23-year history.
Wendy occasionally appears in this column, especially so you can be privy to the up-and-comers, like when she starred as Dr. Kathleen Benedict in episode 11 for the ninth season of “Criminal Minds: Mr. & Mrs. Anderson.’’
When Wendy’s not taking on a role, she’s teaching at The Los Angeles Actors Center and involved with causes benefiting the community, similar to her 2009 Freedom Fund appearance as keynote speaker at the Flagler NAACP’s commemoration of the national organization’s centennial anniversary.
Many TV roles
Since an article of mine appeared in 2014 with Wendy, she’s been drawn to play in an episode for season one of “Grey’s Anatomy’’ and episode 9 as a pregnant Holly Adams, wife of Dr. Preston Burke’s best college friend.
Wendy was screened in “Cold Case,’’ “Martin’’ and “Smart Guy’’ with her credits dating back to 1980 when she took onto the stage in TV and the movies. Some of her roles include the TV shows: “The New WKRP in Cincinnati, “Coach,’’ “EZ Streets,’’ and in the second season of “Scandal’’ playing Kimberly Mitchell, another of writer Shonda Rhimes’ gems.
Yet, Wendy’s big break came when Steven Spielberg cast her in the TV series, “High Incident” (1966). Wendy’s feature films center around “Return to Two Moon Junction’’ (1995).
Family in Palm Coast
She began her career in Los Angeles, finishing Howard University, and earning a bachelor’s degree in theater. As a native of Joppatowne, Md., near Baltimore, suffice it to say that Wendy’s the daughter of Palm Coast transplants Harry and Lucy Davis and the sister of Carue Davis, guidance counselor for Flagler District Schools.
To drop a few names of celebrities, others like the Davises – who live in Palm Coast or the county – are akin to the Hollywood glamour. Delighting in these moments are: Taraji P. Henson’s mother, Bernice Gordon; celebrated actor Renny Roker, who has famous cousins – meteorologist Al Roker, the late actress Roxie Roker, who starred as Helen Willis on “The Jeffersons,’’ and Roxie’s son, singer/songwriter/actor Lenny Kravitz. There’s Cuba Gooding, Sr., lead singer for the Main Ingredient, who is actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s father. And, no less, there’s actor Clifton Davis’ mother-in-law, Diane Spears.
But my storyline does not end there. My story shares Wendy’s dedication to the resources of helping young people ages 3-20 unlock their strengths in an effort to reach their potential. It was a wake-up call for Wendy to discover why in school she was “a problem child.”
It’s something that viewers can root for while discovering the hope for a child diagnosed with a learning disability as featured by reporter Amy Johnson’s “Seen on TV,” KCAL 9 in Los Angeles.
The interview last year made a shocking discovery of the 49-year-old actress’ diagnosis of ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This resulted from her daughter’s diagnosis with the hereditary condition. It was only after a teacher noticed Wendy’s 12-year-old daughter’s hyperactivity that both Wendy and her daughter were tested and diagnosed.
According to research, the terminology of ADHD has changed over the years from “minimal brain damage,” “minimal brain dysfunction,” “learning/behavioral disabilities,” “hyperactivity,” and “Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood.”
But view the stunning footage for yourself by logging on at https://youtu.be/6BV59gs-iLs, and realizing that despite the issues, Wendy became a successful mother and actress with the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood lifestyle. Hear Wendy describe what she’s seen happening with her daughter:
“I noticed that she was hyperactive, that she would have some attention issues,” said Wendy, “and that she was really struggling with school – and she couldn’t sit still.” Wendy’s daughter was experiencing some of the same challenges that Wendy had experienced as a child.
Wendy is excited to now be working with http://www.understood.org., a website with expert advice on how to help these youngsters reach their full potential.
“ADHD is not a disease, but a difference. Some of those differences can be helpful and some can be challenging,” said Wendy. “How you choose to perceive your ADHD will greatly determine the quality of your life. Focus on your gifts and get help where you’re challenged. Choose that your ADHD glass is half full.”
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.
Birthday wishes to Sybil Dodson Lucas, March 2; Carmel Hooke, March 3; Jimmie Seward, March 6; Diedre Robinson, March 7; and Margaret Brown, March 9. Happy anniversary to Frank and Almedia Quarterman, March 3.