Recess was a popular animated series that aired on ABC between 1997 and 2001. The series, created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, was later syndicated to other networks such as Disney Channel and spawned spin-offs, including a theatrical release and several straight to DVD films.
Although Recess featured an ensemble cast of characters, the adventures of each episode usually centered on six core characters, all fourth graders at Third Street Elementary. There was TJ, the leader, athletic Vince, tomboy Spinelli, genius Gretchen, loveable giant Mikey and new kid Gus.
Throughout its run, Recess tackled issues such as democracy, morality, class and government, all through the innocent lens of a child’s point of view.
On February 17 2020, it was announced that Jason Davis, who played Mikey, had passed away aged 35. It was later revealed that this was due to a suspected heroin overdose.
Davis, like the majority of the other core cast members, was a genuine child voicing a child in animation when Recess began, being 13 in 1997. Likewise, his co-stars Andrew Lawrence (TJ) Ashley Johnson (Gretchen), Rickey D’Shon Collins (Vince) and Courtland Mead (Gus) were similarly youthful.
Pamela Adlon (Spinelli) was the only exception, being already an adult when she played Spinelli, already known for playing Bobby on King Of The Hill.
Throughout its run, Recess also featured star talent such as Dabney Coleman (Boardwalk Empire), Lane Toran (Hey Arnold), April Winchell (Clarabelle Cow, Disney), Erik Von Detten (Toy Story), Allyce Beasley (Cheers), Ryan O’Donohue (Batman Beyond) and Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory).
Condolences to the Davis family for their tragic loss.