Roy Dana (R.D.) Call
February 16, 1950 - February 27, 2020
Roy Dana (R.D.) Call, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend and professional actor left this earth on Thursday, February 27, 2020 after battling back surgery and courageously dealing with intense pain. Roy was born on February 16, 1950 to Jedd L. Call and Edith L. Coker Call the first of four children. He grew up in Layton, Utah. He attended E. M. Whitesides Elementery, Central Davis Junior High and graduated from Davis High in 1968.
Roy loved growing up in Layton and made many lifelong friends through all of his school years. He loved participating in sports and generally just being with friends and family. He loved his brother and two sisters and would spend a lot of time teasing his sisters. We all grew up in a very small home on Fort Lane in Layton, Utah and became very close. Roy was always known as a bit of a rebel and would have our parents very concerned on many occasions. His relationship with his Junior High School Principal Bill Warren was legendary. More than once was our dad at the school visiting with the principal! The Mission Impossible gang had many an adventure during those days! (Just ask Kevin Yates to explain.)
Roy married the love of his life, Miss Nita Nickerson in 1972 and she became Mrs. Nita Call. They enjoyed a wonderful adventure together for many years. Later divorced, however they have always remained lifelong friends and soul mates. Their love for each other never ended.
Roy, at a young age was drawn to the magic of movies and television. He had many actor heroes including Marlon Brando, James Dean, Alan Ladd, Richard Burton and many others that sparked a flame that led him to want to become an actor. At Davis High he was involved with the theater department. And was in several plays, Musicals were not his thing. We couldn't talk him to joining the cast of The Music Man during his senior year. Roy won a state competition that year for a scene from "Street Car Named Desire". He played the part of Stanley (Marlon Brando). He went on to study theater at Utah State University and then to Weber State University. He was in many main stage productions, Richard II, and even the musical, West Side Story, he played the part of Rico who didn't sing much, but he did dance!
This love of acting took him and Nita to Los Angeles in 1975, one semester shy of graduating. They decided if that was their dream they needed to be in a place where the magic could happen. Roy became R.D. Call and was accepted into the prestigious Lee Strasberg Acting School. He also was accepted into the famous LA Reparatory Theater Group. His first major TV performance was in the Drama Barnaby Jones (Buddy Ebsen) and his career began to take off. R.D. appeared in over 24 major feature films beginning with 48 Hours (1982), At Close Range, with Sean Penn (1986), Other People’s Money with Danny Divito (1991), State of Grace (1990), Water World with Kevin Costner (1995), Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock (2002) and many others. For a full list go to www.r.d.call.com He also appeared in many TV series Including EZ Streets(1996), Walker Texas Ranger, Little House on The Prairie, Burn Notice, and X Files just to name a few. His stage credits were many also. He loved the challenge of live performance and often said that "acting just wasn't real unless you were willing and able to perform live theater." Some of his stage performances included, Blackout, Speed of Darkness, Drift, Good Bobby and many others.
In 2010 R.D. was awarded the Action on Film International Film Festival (AOF) prestigious "Legends Award" for his many years as a consistent and effective performer.
The acting profession was not an easy life, and often frustration and depression would set in. R.D. fought an addiction with alcohol for many years. At one point he was at what he called" rock bottom" and was heading either to possible suicide or recovery. Thanks to God he chose recovery and went into hospital rehab for many months. Coming out sober, R.D. joined Alcoholics Anonymous and celebrated his 26th year of sobriety this year. Last year he received his 27th year chip in Los Angeles. He was very proud and we were also very proud of his accomplishments to remain alcohol free. Last year he even gave up smoking! He was a fighter all off his life. R.D. devoted his life to A.A. to helping himself and others to fight the fight and sponsored many friends who also won that battle. Roy has made hundreds of good friends in his association with A.A. God bless his good work. It really became his religion and he adhered to the 12 principals all his older adult life.
R.D. decided in 2017 to retire and make his way back to Utah. He knew he would miss many good friends in California but he knew he needed to spend time with his mom, family and friends in Utah. He settled back in the Clearfield/Layton area and had a nice apartment where he could store his gear. Mom was so excited that he had come home. He spent many days taking care of our mom. She loved him very much and appreciated his attention. We all loved having our brother home. After our mother passed away in November 2018 Roy was becoming more restless and growing weary of the cold winters. He did start talking about going back to the film industry and trying again. Regrets and frustrations were weighing on his mind. Back pain stopped him from acting on those thoughts for a while. Missing friends and family in Utah also gave him pause.
R.D. was as tough as nails on the outside but a real gentleman on the inside. He could be very intimidating at first sight or even a little scary to some. But once you got to know him, his directness turned into a kind fondness for getting to know people. He was who he was, honest, direct, genuine, and funny, he had a great sense of humor and there was no pretense or phoniness. He was genuine and solid as a rock, true, faithful and totally loyal. As his good friend Matt Nelson said to me "he rode hard and could come off as a little frightening but inside was really a gentle soul." He would give someone that was down and out every dime in his pocket and the shirt off his back. Just ask all of the waitresses that work in any restaurant he frequented, his tips were very generous! That is R.D. Call.
R.D. had a great love for people who settled and tamed the American West. He spent a great deal of time studying and trying to understand all of the hearty souls who played a part in that great adventure. He loved the Native American Indians that lived there. He could understand and empathize with the American cowboy, mountain men, farmers, railroaders and all others who settled and helped tame the land. His paintings and cultural artifacts tell of his love and respect for all of those people. We always felt he could have lived and fit right in to the 1850-1890's in the American West.
R.D. struggled for the last few years with major back pain and had surgery last year and again just last week on the 24 of February to correct the problem. His hope was that this would be a turning point. It however turned out to be a difficult week and the pain continued. We know that R.D. is now free of his pain and is now celebrating with his mom Edith and many other loved ones at this time. We know he is happy and working hard to bless the lives of others like he did on this earth! We will feel the heartache of missing him every day. Until we meet again Dear brother, uncle and friend we bid you a fond and loving farewell! Rest in Peace our hero and our friend!
Roy is survived by his brother, Rick (Susette) Call, sisters, Quay (Gus) Burbank, Cindy, (Larry) Thomas and many nephews and nieces, cousins, and his Uncle Lane and Aunt Evelyn Call.
We invite all family and friends to join us as we celebrate his life Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 North Fairfield Road. Friends may visit family Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary. Interment, Lindquist’s Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd, Ogden, Utah.
Thanks to all who have supported and helped R.D. in any way.
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