Facts about Sammy Davis

Sammy Davis, Jr. died at 64 years old
Best known as: Singer of "The Candy Man"



Sammy Davis, Jr. Biography

Born into a vaudeville family, Sammy Davis, Jr. was dancing onstage by the time he was four years old.

He grew into a genuine song-and-dance man: an expert tapdancer, crooner, impressionist and all-purpose entertainer. Davis is best remembered for his high-energy years in Frank Sinatra‘s so-called Rat Pack, appearing onstage and in movies like Ocean’s Eleven (1960) with Sinatra and Dean Martin.

He was nominated for a Tony award for his lead role in the Broadway hit Golden Boy and was also a frequent headliner in Las Vegas.

Davis’s interracial marriage to Swedish actress May Britt in 1960 was a rarity for its day. They divorced in 1968. He married dancer Altovise Gore in 1970 and they remained married until his death.

His recording of “The Candy Man” was a surprise #1 hit in 1972. Davis’s films included Porgy and Bess (1959, with Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge), Salt and Pepper (1968, with Peter Lawford) and Tap (1989). His wrote two autobiographies: Yes I Can (1965) and Why Me? (1989).

Extra credit

Davis lost his left eye in a 1954 car crash while driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles… Davis converted to Judaism in the mid-1950s… He sang the theme song to Robert Blake‘s 1970s TV show Baretta… He was played by Don Cheadle in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack.


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