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Sammy Davis Jr.

todayFebruary 1, 2023 25

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Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American singer, dancer, actor, comedian, film producer and television director.

At age three, Davis began his career in vaudeville with his father Sammy Davis Sr. and the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally, and his film career began in 1933.

After military service, Davis returned to the trio and became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro’s (in West Hollywood) after the 1951 Academy Awards.

With the trio, he became a recording artist. In 1954, at the age of 29, he lost his left eye in a car accident. Several years later, he converted to Judaism, finding commonalities between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities.

He had a starring role on Broadway in Mr. Wonderful with Chita Rivera (1956). In 1960, he appeared in the Rat Pack film Ocean’s 11.

He returned to the stage in 1964 in a musical adaptation of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy opposite Paula Wayne. Davis was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.

The show featured the first interracial kiss on Broadway.In 1966, he had his own TV variety show, titled The Sammy Davis Jr. Show.

While Davis’s career slowed in the late 1960s, his biggest hit, “The Candy Man”, reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1972, and he became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname “Mister Show Business”.

Written by: Christmas Songs Radio

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