Sammy Davis Jr

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Sammy Davis Jr
Sammy Davis Jr.
Davis in 1989
Birthday/Birthplace Samuel George Davis Jr.
(1925-12-08)December 8, 1925
Harlem, New York, United States
Deceased May 16, 1990(1990-05-16)
Beverly Hills, California, United States
Cause of death Throat cancer
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California
  • Singer
  • dancer
  • actor
  • comedian
Active Years 1928–1990
  • Loray White (m. 1958; div. 1960)
  • May Britt (m. 1960; div. 1968)
  • Altovise Davis (m. 1970)
Kid(s) 4
  • Sammy Davis Sr.
  • Elvera Sanchez
Official Website
Musical career
  • Traditional pop
  • big band
  • jazz
  • easy listening
  • show tunes
  • swing
  • vocal jazz
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • drums
Record Labels
  • Decca
  • Reprise
  • Verve
  • Motown
  • MGM
  • RCA
  • 20th Century
  • Applause
Worked with
  • Rat Pack
  • Bing Crosby
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Dinah Shore
  • Quincy Jones
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Count Basie
  • Tommy Dorsey
  • Dean Martin
  • Duke Ellington

Samuel George “Sammy” Davis Jr. (Harlem, December 8, 1925 – Beverly Hills, May 16, 1990) was a singer, multi-instrumentalist musician (vibraphone, trumpet and drummer) ), dancer, actor and American comedian. It was part of the “Rat Pack” that among its members had Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

Sammy_Davis_Jr’s Biography

He was born in Harlem, New York, the son of Elvera Sánchez, who was a Cuban dancer, and of Sammy Davis, Sr., an African-American artist; They were both a vaudeville dance couple. During his first three years he was basically in charge of his grandmother and, when his parents separated, so as not to lose his custody, the father took him on tour. From him and his uncle Will Mastin he learned to dance, eventually forming the Will Mastin Trio with them.

Although constantly protected by Mastin and his father from racist attacks, during his enlistment in the US Army during the Second World War, Davis inevitably suffered from severe racial prejudice. This situation, constant throughout a good part of his career, was softened by his artistic talent, through his participation in a show group within the army.

The rising star

After the war, Davis resumed his career in the world of entertainment. He continued to perform with the Will Mastin Trio, as the lead star and also debuted as a soloist, singing in nightclubs and recording records. His career had a rise in 1947 when the trio opened the presentation of Frank Sinatra (with whom Davis would maintain a lifelong friendship with constant artistic collaboration) at the Capitol Theater in New York. He followed a tour with Mickey Rooney, as well as a performance that reached the ears of Decca Records, which signed with Davis a recording contract in 1954.

That same year, driving to Los Angeles where he had to record a soundtrack, Davis suffered a car accident and was seriously injured and lost an eye, forcing him to use a prosthesis, a glass eye, during the rest of his life. During his recovery, he reflected on his life and converted to Judaism soon after finding common ground between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities.

Davis’s injury did not stop his promotion. In 1955 his first two albums, “Acting Sammy Davis Jr”. and “Sammy Davis Jr. sings only for lovers”, they were recognized by critics. The commercial success obtained led to stellar line-up in Las Vegas and New York, as well as performances in films and television programs, including Anna Lucasta (1958, with Eartha Kitt), Porgy and Bess (1959, with Dorothy Dandridge and Sidney Poitier) and The Frank Sinatra Show (1958). Around this time Davis made his Broadway debut, starring in the hit 1956 musical Mr. Wonderful, along with members of his family and another legendary dancer, Chita Rivera.

The Rat Pack and beyond

In 1960, Davis was a star in his own right. But he was also a member of the legendary Rat Pack, comprised of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, the party superstars of the nightclub scenes of Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Davis appeared with members of the gang in the films Ocean’s Eleven (1960), 3 Sargents (1962) and Robin and the 7 Bells (1964). Davis also had a prominent role in films outside the gang, including A Man named Adam (1966), where he has the nominal role opposite Louis Armstrong and where his protégé the dancer and singer Lola Falana debuted or in Bob’s unforgettable musical film Fosse Sweet Charity (1969) with Shirley MacLaine, in which Davis appeared as a charismatic singer and guru.

The iconic performer also published a steady stream of albums on Decca and Reprise (Davis was the first artist to sign for the second record, which was released by Sinatra). Davis was nominated for the Grammy for Best Song of the Year for the song “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, Which reached the Top 20 of the Billboard charts as well. He accompanied him on stage with live performances to earn the honors, as seen with his performance during his nomination for the Tony Award in 1964 for his musical Golden Boy.

In 1966, the artist received his own short-range television program, The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. Years later, he was the host again on the talk show Sammy and the company, from 1975-77.

Social activism

Despite his free, easy-going, playboy lifestyle, he continued to have to endure racial prejudice, which led Davis to use his fame for political ends. During the 1960s he participated actively in the civil rights movement, participating in the 1963 march in Washington and refusing to act in racially segregated ballrooms and nightclubs, which is credited as one of the main drivers of the integration in Las Vegas and Miami Beach. Davis also challenged the intolerance of the time by marrying in 1960 the Swedish actress May Britt at a time when interracial marriages were prohibited by law in 31 states. (President John F. Kennedy, in fact, asked that the couple not appear in his inauguration, so as not to upset the whites of the South).

Until the end

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the multi-talented Davis continued his prolific production. He kept his musical career, releasing albums until the late 70s and getting his first # 1 record hit in 1972 with “Candy Man”. Davis appeared in films like the crazy ones of the Cannonball (1981), with Burt Reynolds and Roger Moore or Tap (1989), with Gregory Hines. He was also a guest on a wide variety of television shows, including the Tonight Show, The Carol Burnett Show, All in the Family and The Jeffersons, as well as the telenovelas General Hospital and A Life to Live. Davis performed again on Broadway during the summer of 1978 at The World’s Stop – I want to get off, although some criticisms were not kind.

Meanwhile his career continued, with the interpreter embarking on a praise tour with Sinatra and Liza Minnelli in the late 1980s, when Davis’s health began to deteriorate. Davis was an inveterate smoker, and in 1989 doctors discovered a tumor in his throat. That year he gave what would be his last performance, at the Harrah’s casino in Lake Tahoe. Soon after, Davis underwent radiation therapy. Although the disease appeared to be in remission, it was later discovered that it had resurfaced. On May 16, 1990, Sammy Davis Jr. passed away at his home in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 64. Before his death he was honored by a series of his companions, in a television tribute.

Sammy Davis Jr. Net Worth – $5 Million

More Facts about Sammy Davis Jr

Net Worth Stats $20 Million
Born 1925-12-08
Died 1990-05-16
Relationships Altovise Davis
Wiki Page

The Sammy Davis Jr’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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