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Jason Davis, the grandson of philanthropist Barbara Davis and late studio chief Marvin Davis, died Sunday at age 35. The cause of death is unknown.
Davis was the son of wine grower Nebil Zarif and Nancy Davis Rickel, who is the daughter of Marvin and Barbara.
“I am so heartbroken to share the saddest news of my life that my son Jason Davis passed away this morning in Los Angeles,” Nancy told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest for life. He was such a caring soul to everybody who ever knew him. He loved his friends and his family above all else. We ask for privacy as we take time to grieve this most devastating loss.”
Though Davis had been open about his struggles with substance abuse — appearing on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew in 2010-11 — most recently he had been committed to his recovery and had co-founded the charity Cure Addiction Now. For the past year and a half, Davis dedicated himself to the organization, which will be funding groundbreaking research to find therapies to help stop the cycle of substance use disorder and help people not only detox but stay in permanent recovery.
At the time of his death, he also was working on a TV show titled The Two Jasons.
Davis had several acting credits on IMDb.com. Among the more notable was a voice role on Disney’s animated series Recess in the late ’90s, but he also had small parts on Roseanne and 7th Heaven and in the films Rush Hour and Beverly Hills Ninja.
His grandfather, the late Denver oilman Marvin Davis, bought 20th Century Fox in 1981 and sold it four years later to Rupert Murdoch for a profit reported to be more than $300 million. Marvin also owned the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Pebble Beach golf course around that time.
Barbara, meanwhile, founded the star-studded Carousel of Hope Ball to fund type 1 diabetes treatment and research.
Davis’ mother, Nancy, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which led her to create the Race to Erase MS fundraiser.
Davis is survived by two brothers, Brandon and Alexander, along with two half-sisters, Isabella and Mariella Rickel, from his mother’s second marriage to Ken Rickel.
Lisa de los Reyes contributed to this report.
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