Fast Facts

  • Was part of his father and Will Mastin's vaudeville act at 3 years old. 
  • Never went to school, but was occasionally tutored; received reading lessons from a black sergeant when he was in the Army's Special Services. 
  • Made film debut at 8 years old when he starred in the 1933 movie short Rufus Jones for President.   
  • Metronome magazine dubbed him Most Outstanding New Personality in 1946 and awarded him Record of the Year honors for his version of "The Way You Look Tonight."
  • Involved in a major car accident in 1954, in which he lost his left eye.  
  • Appeared on Broadway for the first time in the 1956 musical Mr. Wonderful.
  • Was a member of the infamous Rat Pack, headlining Las Vegas shows and starring in films with cohorts Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.  
  • Had a best-selling autobiography in 1965 with Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis Jr.; wrote another tome Why Me? in 1980 and posthumously published Sammy: The Autobiography of Sammy Davis Jr. in 2000.
  • In 1966 had a short-run variety show on NBC called The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. 
  • Has received numerous awards, including the NAACP's Spingarn Medal in 1968 and a Kennedy Center Honor in 1987, and was inducted into the NAACP's Hall of Fame in 1989.


  • 1989, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1977, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1956, Emmy — Best Specialty Act - Single or Group: Nominee
  • 1965, Tony — Actor (Musical): Nominee


  • Manny Davis — Son
  • Mark Sidney Davis — Son
  • Altovise Gore — Wife
  • Samuel George Davis Sr. — Father
  • Loray White — Ex-wife
  • Suzette Davis — Sister
  • Tracey Davis — Daughter
  • Ramona James — Sister
  • Jeff Davis — Son
  • May Britt — Ex-wife
  • Elvira Sanchez — Mother
  • Rosa Davis — Grandmother


  • Birth Name: Samuel George Davis Jr.
  • Birth Place: New York, New York, United States
  • Died: May 16, 1990
  • Profession: Dancer, Singer, Actor

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