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Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr.
1986 portrait by Allan Warren
Samuel George Davis, Jr.
December 8, 1925
|Died||May 16, 1990 (aged 64)|
|Cause of death||Throat cancer|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California|
|Occupation||Singer, tap dancer, actor, musician|
|Spouse(s)||Loray White (m. 1958–1959) |
May Britt (m. 1960–1968)
Altovise Davis (m. 1970–1990)
|Parent(s)||Sammy Davis, Sr. |
Sammy Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American entertainer. He was a dancer, singer and instrumentalist (playing vibraphone, trumpet and drums), comedian and actor. He was born in Harlem, New York City. Davis became hugely successful as a stage singer and recording artist and when asked to play at segregated places (where African-Americans were not allowed) he refused. Because of this some popular venues began to allow African-Americans to attend just so they could have Davis and other popular black musicians play. Before that black singers like Davis and Nat King Cole could play at the hotels and casinos but not stay or gamble there.
Davis led an unhealthy lifestyle of drinking, smoking and cocaine use but was one of the most popular musicians and actors of the time. He converted to Judaism while in the hospital in 1954 and 1955. He was also a member of the Rat Pack with friends Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
- Jewish Virtual Library
- "List of Kennedy Center Honorees". Kennedy-center.org. http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/specialevents/honors/history/home.html. Retrieved 2010-01-07.