Western character actor, born as one of twelve children to an impoverished Oklahoma farmer. In show business from the age of twenty, as a singer and imitator of sounds. Joined the Weaver Brothers & Elviry touring company for four years in 1929. Signed in 1932 as part of a radio quartet, 'Rufe Davis and the Radio Rubes'. In feature films from 1937, notably in the recurring role of 'Lullaby' Joslyn in the 'Three Mesquiteers' series at Republic, made between 1940 and 1942. Later popular as conductor/brakeman Floyd Smoot in TV's 'Green Acres' and 'Petticoat Junction'.
Rufus Eldon Davidson's grandfather, Matthew "Tobe" Alonzo Davidson, was a private in Company B, 1st Alabama Cavalry (Confederate) during the War between the States. This unit saw action in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia.
In 1955, he hosted the daily children's program "Laffin' Theater" on WBKB in Chicago.
Shortened his name to Rufe Davis, supposedly because he thought Rufus Davidson would be too expensive on a marquee.
Loaned money to The Andrews Sisters to help them get started in New York. Newspaper reports had Rufe and Laverne Andrews headed to the altar in 1938.