Unlike his Nanny
character Niles, Daniel Davis was born in Arkansas. Inspired to be an actor by watching Tyrone Power movies at his parents movie theater, Davis later studied at the Arkansas Art Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He also performed and taught at the American Conservatory Theatre for six years. Having performed in nearly every Shakespeare play, including "Othello" on Broadway, he took over the role of Salieri in "Amadeus" on the Great White Way.
On TV, he appeared in the 1980s Another World
and guest-starred on Highway to Heaven
, Cagney & Lacey
, Remington Steele
, The A-Team
, The Equalizer
, as well appearing in five episodes as Harry Thresher on Dynasty
Known for his iconic turn as archenemy Moriarty on Star Trek: The Next Generation
, his keen British accent also earned him great acclaim as Niles on The Nanny
. His post-Nanny
work includes numerous returns to Broadway: a Tony-nominated turn in 2000's "Wrong Mountain," roles in "The Invention of Love" and "The Frogs," as well as a stint as club owner Georges in the 2004 revival of "La Cage Aux Folles."
Niles is the butler and caretaker of the Sheffield home. He is very protective and loyal to the family and takes an immediate liking to Fran.