“Goodbye” Sammy Davis Jr – Died 16 May 1990
Samuel George “Sammy” Davis, Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was a multi-talented American entertainer. Primarily a dancer and singer, he also had many acting roles on stage and screen, and was noted for his impersonations of actors and other celebrities.
Davis’ film career began as a child in 1933. In 1960 he appeared in the first Rat Pack film, Ocean’s 11. After a starring role on Broadway in 1956’s Mr Wonderful, he returned to the stage in 1964’s Golden Boy, and in 1966 had his own TV variety show, The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. Davis’ career stalled somewhat in the late 1960’s, but he had a hit record with “The Candy Man” in 1972 and became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname “Mister Show Business” .
As an African American, Davis was the victim of racism throughout his life and was a large financial supporter of the Civil Rights movement.. One day on a golf course with Jack Benny, he was asked what his handicap was. “Handicap?” he asked. “Talk about handicap — I’m a one-eyed Negro Jew.”( In 1954, he lost his left eye in an automobile accident, and several years later, he converted to Judaism).
After reuniting with Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1987, Davis toured with them and Liza Minnelli , before he died of throat cancer in 1990. He died in debt to the Internal Revenue Service, and his estate was the subject of legal battles.