Spike Lee, Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes were among a host of stars who paid special tribute to late actor Ossie Davis in New York City on Monday (07FEB05).

The remembrances came at an event to mark the release of the DVD of Lee's 1992 film MALCOLM X - and commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Muslim leader's death.

For the 1992 film, director Lee got Davis to recreate the eulogy he gave at Malcolm X's funeral in 1965.

On Monday, Lee showed a short film showing highlights of Davis' decades-long career, and said he was guided both creatively and politically by Davis and his wife, Ruby Dee, both of whom have appeared in his films.

Lee said, "They gave me the courage to take stands that might be unpopular."

Washington, who played the lead role in Lee's Malcolm X, added, "(Davis) is in good care and good company. My prayers go out to Ruby."

Davis was found dead in his Florida hotel room on Friday (04FEB05) from what appeared to be natural causes. He was 87.

Dee was in New Zealand making a movie when her husband died. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998.

09/02/2005 03:00