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Bully on Maplewood
Actor John Davidson finds the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt in his new hometown.
by Irene Tierston

The life of TV film, and Broadway star John Davidson has been intertwined with Teddy Roosevelt’s for a long time. And just as our 26th Presidents life was linked to Maplewood, so now is John Davidson’s.

Davidson, who has performed in such favorite musicals as OKLAHOMA, THE MUSIC MAN, CAMELOT, CAROUSEL, and I DO, I DO, was the long time host of Hollywood Squares, and appeared as host of the Tonight Show. He has been an admirer of Teddy Roosevelt since he portrayed that President in the musical TEDDY AND ALICE.

What first attracted the versa-tile singer/actor to Roosevelt was that, like Davidson, Teddy idolized his father. "My father", Davidson said passionately, "was the finest man I have ever known."

John Davidson was raised by his minister father as a Northern Baptist and he himself wanted to be a minister when he attended college. He mused, I was very shy as a kid and couldn’t figure out how to communicate with people. I guess I was trying to get people to listen to me but I thought I was interested in religion. I realized very quickly that I just wanted to move people and be the center of attention. That is so TR! He loved his ‘bully pulpit’!

Recently he found himself looking for a diverse community to settle down in, with his wife Rhonda--an open community where their daughter Ashleigh would grow up surrounded by friends of every religion, race, and cultural background.

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