The Cigarette Smoking Man

William B Davis x-files

Davis played one of the most iconic villains in the history of television, the enigmatic Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM) on the 1993-2002 television series The X-Files. Also known as “Cancerman”, Davis’ character was voted Television’s Favourite Villain by the readers of TV Guide. Rarely has a television character made such an impact on the popular culture of its time. A testament to the popularity of Davis’ character, CSM appeared on an episode of the Simpsons and was mentioned in the Barenaked Ladies song One Week (with the line referring to X-Files, "I hope the Smoking Man's in this one.").

His character was a mysterious operative who had top-level access to both the FBI and the Pentagon and worked with the Syndicate to hide certain truths from the American public. CSM oversaw Scully's initial briefing on her assignment to the X-Files to debunk the work of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder, as well as her debriefing. He stole the evidence obtained by Mulder and Scully during the show's Pilot episode, and moved it to a secret, underground storage room at the Pentagon. Although uttering only four audible words in the entire 1st season of the show, CSM eventually developed into the series' primary antagonist. Davis’ character was most commonly referred to by this description because he was almost always seen chain-smoking Morley cigarettes, and also because like other villains on the show, he had no known real name.

UK blogger and podcaster "Matt Horn Meets"
recently chatted with Davis about the X-Files
return to global screens...
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Read about Davis’ experiences on the X-Files and more in his memoir Where There’s Smoke … Signed copies now available from our online store.


"When the Cigarette Smoking man actually first spoke on The X-Files, we found out what a truly talented actor Bill Davis is. Now, in this absorbing , fascinating book about his rich and exciting life, we discover he's equally talented as a director, teacher, lover, skier, and much more." — R.W. Goodwin: The X-Files Executive Producer, Writer and Director