Sammy Davis, Jr.
Samuel George Davis, Jr. Was Born In New York City, New York, December 8, 1925, To Sammy Davis, Sr., A Black Entertainer And Elvera Sanchez. He Began His Career As A Child Performer In Vaudeville, Working With His Father And "Uncle" As The Will Mastin Trio.
He Got His First Movie Role In 1933, In "Rufus Jones For President." He Served In The Army During World War II, Mainly Entertaining The Troops. In 1954, He Lost His Left Eye In An Automobile Accident. Later That Same Year, He Converted To Judaism. In 1959 He Became Part Of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack." In 1964, He Starred In The Musical, "Golden Boy," For Which He Was Nominated For A Tony Award And By 1966, Had His Own TV Variety Show. His Renditions Of Songs Like, "That Old Black Magic," "I've Gotta Be Me" And "The Candy Man," Became National Favorites.
Like Many Other Black Entertainers, Sammy Davis Was The Victim Of Racism During His Career. During His Early Years In Las Vegas, Davis And other Black Artists Could Entertain, But Usually Could Not Stay At The Hotels Where They Performed, Gamble In the Casinos, Nor Eat Or Drink In The Hotel Restaurants And Bars. Davis Took a Stand And Later Refused To work At Places That Practiced Racial Segregation.
He Was An Avid Supporter Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And The Civil Rights Movement, During The 1960s. The NAACP Awarded Him The Spingarn Medal In 1968.
His Film And Television Credits Include: "Porgy And Bess" (1959), "Ocean's Eleven" (1960), "All in the Family," "The Rifleman," "Ben Casey," "Robin And The 7 Hoods" (1964), "The Jeffersons," "Sweet Charity" (1969) "Tap" (1989) And "The Cosby Show."
Sammy Davis, Jr. Inspired A Generation Of Black Performers, Including Gregory Hines, Michael Jackson And Savion Glover. Among His Many Honors: Induction Into The Civil Rights Walk Of Fame (2008), Induction Into The Grammy Hall Of Fame (2002), Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner (2001), Induction Into The Las Vegas Walk Of Stars (2006), NAACP Image Award Winner (1989), Kennedy Center Honors Honoree (1987) And Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star Recipient (1960).
In 1968, Davis Started Dating Altovise Gore, A Dancer In "Golden Boy." They Were Married on May 11, 1970 By The Reverend Jesse Jackson, Adopted A child And Remained Married Until Davis' Death.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." - Hubert Gaddy, Jr.