Movie star and black rights activist Ossie Davis brought Harlem, New York, to a virtual standstill on Saturday (12FEB05) when friends, fans and family joined forces to honour the late star.

Davis' actress wife Ruby Dee led the memorial service, which was attended by former US President Bill Clinton, Burt Reynolds, Alan Alda, Spike Lee, HARRY BELAFONTE and leading human rights activists.

Davis' Harlem neighbours also crammed into the service at the Riverside Church.

Singer Belafonte told the congregation, "It is hard to fathom that we will no longer be able to call on his wisdom, his humour, his loyalty and his moral strength to guide us in the choices that are yet to be made... but how fortunate we were to have him as long as we did."

Jazz star Wynton Marsalis joined the HOWARD UNIVERSITY CHOIR to perform Davis' favourite tunes at the three-hour send-off celebration, and acclaimed poet Maya Angelou read to the congregation.

But the highlight of the service came when slain black leader Malcolm X's daughter ATTALLAH SHABAZZ delivered the eulogy Davis delivered at her father's funeral.

Davis died on 4 February 4 (05) in Miami Beach, Florida. He was 87.

14/02/2005 02:41