Facts about Sammy Davis
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).