Sammy Davis Jr. has been much loved by the whole world and is still regretted after his death. His life was quite controversial and full of obstacles.
Sammy was born in 1925 in Harlem, New York. His father, Sammy Davis Sr., was an entertainer, and his mother, Elvera Sanchez, was a vaudeville dancer.
His parents divorced when Sammy was 3 years old, and his father decided to take him on tour.
Sammy debuted as “Baby Sammy” with his father and Will Mastin, and the audience was very excited. His father tried to protect him as much as possible from racism, but this was quite difficult.
At the age of 8, Sammy received his first role in the film “Rufus Jones for President”. At that time, there was not much talk about the work that children should do or how they should go to school.
As a teenager, Sammy was already a musician, comedian, entertainer and dancer, so he didn’t have much time for school. His father tried to hire some teachers, but Sammy did not have much free time. At the age of 18, he arrived in the U.S. Army.
In 1943, Sammy was part of the band that provided entertainment for the troops.
Unfortunately, his time in the military was very difficult for Sammy because he had to fight racism and was physically and mentally assaulted. He was beaten several times, painted white and had a broken nose.
In 1945, Sammy was discharged and returned to the Will Mastin Trio with his father and uncle. The trio opened Frank Sinatra’s concert, and that was when Sammy’s life was about to change.
Frank and Sammy became friends immediately, and Frank always helped him, which was very helpful to Sammy because he was facing racism. Frank also gave up some shows that refused to receive Sammy on stage because of his skin color. Sammy has always been very grateful for the help he received from Frank.
In the 1950s, Davis had the opportunity to record an album in Los Angeles, but he suffered a very serious car accident as a result of which he lost an eye. After wearing an eye patch, he received a glass eye.
Fortunately, Sammy managed to get over this tragedy and move on. He discovered Judaism, and in 1961 decided to convert to Judaism.
Also, after the accident, Sammy became a member of The Rat Pack club, run by Frank Sinatra.
During this period, Sammy had a lot of fun and was successful, but he also met Kim Novak and the two fell in love. However, at that time interracial relationships were not accepted and there was a lot of ugly talk about their relationship.
Harry Cohn, Kim Novak’s boss, was angry when he found out about the relationship between the two, but they continued to see each other in secret. Harry was so nervous that he hired guards to make sure Sammy didn’t get too close to Kim. The documentary “The Kid in the Middle” says that Harry contacted the mafia, who threatened Sammy that if he did not marry an African-American woman within 48 hours, they would break his legs and take out his other eye.
Sammy called Loray White, whom he had met several times, and offered her $ 10,000 to marry him, but they soon divorced, as Sammy told her from the beginning that it would happen. Kim and Sammy broke up.
Later, Kim confirmed that all these things really happened.
After a few years, the two met and managed to say goodbye to each other.
Sammy had a daughter named Tracy with his wife, May Britt. Tracy wrote a book about her father’s life. Sammy also had 3 adopted children.
Sammy’s last words to his son Mark were “You are my son”. Mark, like many people, thought he was Sammy’s biological son, but Tracey was sure that wasn’t true. Mark did a DNA test, but the results showed that Sammy is not his biological father.
In 1989, Sammy Davis Jr. was diagnosed with throat cancer, but refused surgery and opted for chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Sammy died in May 1990.