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Sammy Davis, Jr.

American singer, actor (1925-1990)

Sammy Davis, Jr.

American singer, actor (1925-1990)
ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
birthday
8th
December, 1925
Death
16th
May, 1990
Birth Place
New York City, U.S.
Birth Sign
sagittarius
Biography

Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American singer, dancer, actor, vaudevillian and comedian whom critic Randy Blaser called “the greatest entertainer ever to grace a stage in these United States”.
At age three, Davis began his career in vaudeville with his father Sammy Davis Sr. and the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally, and his film career began in 1933. After military service, Davis returned to the trio and became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro’s (in West Hollywood) after the 1951 Academy Awards. With the trio, he became a recording artist. In 1954, at the age of 29, he lost his left eye in a car accident. Several years later, he converted to Judaism, finding commonalities between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities.
After a starring role on Broadway in Mr. Wonderful with Chita Rivera (1956), he returned to the stage in 1964 in a musical adaptation of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy opposite Paula Wayne. Davis was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance and the show was said to have featured the first interracial kiss on Broadway. In 1960, he appeared in the Rat Pack film Ocean’s 11. In 1966, he had his own TV variety show, titled The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. While Davis’s career slowed in the late 1960s, his biggest hit, “The Candy Man”, reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1972, and he became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname “Mister Show Business”.
Davis’s popularity helped break the race barrier of the segregated entertainment industry. He did however have a complex relationship with the black community and drew criticism after publicly supporting President Richard Nixon in 1972. One day on a golf course with Jack Benny, he was asked what his handicap was. “Handicap ” he asked. “Talk about handicap. I’m a one-eyed Negro who’s Jewish.” This was to become a signature comment, recounted in his autobiography and in many articles.
After reuniting with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1987, Davis toured with them and Liza Minnelli internationally, before his death in 1990. He died in debt to the Internal Revenue Service, and his estate was the subject of legal battles after the death of his wife. Davis was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his television performances. He was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1987, and in 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

instruments played
drums
Piano
Vocals
Associated Acts

Rat Pack Bing Crosby Quincy Jones Frank Sinatra Dean Martin

Children

4

Genres

Traditional pop big band jazz easy listening show tunes swing blues

Occupation

Singer dancer actor comedian

Resting Place

Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, U.S.

Spouses

Loray White (m. 1958; div. 1959) May Britt (m. 1960; div. 1968) Altovise Davis (m. 1970)

Years Active

1928 1990

Name

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Nationality

United States of America

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