Sammy Davis, Jr.Actor / Dancer / Singer
Born: 8 December 1925
Died: 16 May 1990 (throat cancer)
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Best known as: Singer of "The Candy Man"
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. He's 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 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. His 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?
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.
Copyright © 1998-2016 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.