Sammy Davis Jr. Photography

Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr. kicked off his career alongside his father during the vaudeville boom—at the tender age of three! Few entertainers have embodied the true spirit of an all-around performer better—in addition to singing, dancing, and comedy, his impressive arsenal also included acting and celebrity impersonations.

Davis first found fame after a performance at Hollywood hot spot Ciro’s following the 1951 Academy Awards. Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, he starred on Broadway in Mr. Wonderful and Golden Boy, and joined the legendary “Rat Pack.” Davis would appear in several movies alongside Rat Pack pals Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, including the original Ocean’s 11.

By 1966, he was hosting the variety-themed Sammy Davis Jr. Show, and in 1972, scored his biggest hit single “The Candy Man.” From there, “Mister Show Business” became a staple of the Las Vegas scene and broke box office records on tour alongside Sinatra, Martin, and Liza Minnelli during the late 1980s. Davis died in 1990 from throat cancer and was awarded a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

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