Sammy Davis Jr

The Legendary Singer, Dancer, Actor, and Comedian

Samuel George Davis Jr

Samuel George Davis Jr was born on December 8th, 1925 in New York City. His parents divorced at age 3 and he went to live with his dad and adopted uncle. At age 3 he also started his acting career. Sammy Davis would go on tour with his dad and uncle and that's when he learned to tap dance. He would perform shows with them and they were called the Will Mastin Trio. In 1943, he was drafted into the army and experienced racial segregation which his father had been keeping him from. The white soldiers would physically abuse him. He returned to New York after World War 2 ended in 1945. In 1950, Sammy Davis Jr went solo and produced 2 very successful records. He was a huge star on Broadway because he was a singer, dancer, actor, and comedian. He gave people joy. In November 1954, Sammy Davis almost died in a car crash. It shattered his face and ruined his left eye, so he would have to wear a glass eye. While he was in the hospital, he learned that the Jewish communities had some of the same things happen to them that African Americans did. Samuel became Jewish. In 1960, he married Swedish actress, May Britt, even though interracial marriages were illegal in 31 states. They had one daughter and two adopted sons. May and Sammy were married for 8 years.

Samuel George Davis Jr (continued)

Towards the End

Sammy Davis Jr was a champion of civil rights because he was entertaining at a time when it was difficult for black people. He continued to fight for his rights by refusing to play at venues that practiced racial segregation which had an impact because he was so popular and in demand at that time. He married again in the 1970's to Altovise Gore, a dancer. His movie Tap (featured above), was filmed just a year before Sammy Davis Jr died of throat cancer. He was a life long smoker and died at age 64 on May 16, 1990, in Beverly Hills California. Sammy Davis Jr was said to be "one of the most talented entertainers ever".