How appropriate that the Cigarette Smoking Man himself would be celebrating his birthday on Friday the 13th! William B. Davis is a Canadian actor who has trained alongside some of the greats! He started his career when he was only eleven, acting in radio dramas and community theatre productions. He trained as an actor at the University of Toronto and, after graduating, he moved to London, England to train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art under Laurence Olivier and alongside Maggie Smith and Albert Finney. In 1965, Davis returned to Canada and spent a long time acting on the stage, directing stage productions, and also acting in radio dramas. In the 1980’s, he began to act more and more in Canadian film and television, with his first appearance being in the 1983 David Cronenberg adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone. Roles on such shows as Airwolf, Danger Bay, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, 21 Jump Street, MacGyver, and The Commish followed, all leading towards his huge, career-making role as the Smoking Man on The X-Files in 1993. This role shot Davis into the pop culture lexicon, to the point where The Barenaked Ladies referenced him in their song One Week, and Davis was tapped to make an appearence as CSM in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. It should also be noted that Davis quit smoking in the 60’s and smoked herbal cigarettes for his entire time working on The X-Files, and in fact is also a spokesman for the Canadian Cancer Society. During and after the run of the The X-Files, Davis continued to act in (mostly nerdy) TV series, including Sliders, The Outer Limits, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, and Caprica. He’s also attached to a film called The Tall Man that sounds suspiciously like a Hollywood version of Slenderman, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what becomes of it. William B. Davis turns 74 today.