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Sammy Davis Jr. Facts

Sammy Davis Jr: A Legendary Entertainer

Few entertainers can match the star power and talent of Sammy Davis Jr. A true legend in his own right, he possessed a dynamic stage presence that electrified audiences for decades. Despite facing discrimination and personal struggles, Davis Jr. persevered, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and captivate generations of music lovers. In this article, we’ll delve into Davis Jr.’s life, career, and influence, shining a light on the many facets that made him such a beloved figure in entertainment history.

Early Life and Career

Born in Harlem, New York in 1925, Sammy Davis Jr. was an only child who grew up in show business. His parents, Sammy Davis Sr. and Elvera Sanchez, were both vaudeville dancers, and they often included their son in their acts. From a young age, Davis Jr. demonstrated tremendous talent as a singer, dancer, and impressionist, quickly becoming a crowd favorite.

Despite his early success, Davis Jr. faced discrimination due to his race. In the 1940s and ‘50s, segregation was still rampant, and Davis Jr. was often barred from certain venues and events. However, he refused to be held back, and instead used his talents to break barriers and open doors for other African American performers.

Personal Life and Relationships

Davis Jr. was married three times and had four children over the course of his life. His first marriage, to dancer Loray White, lasted from 1948 to 1958. They had one daughter together, named Tracey. Davis Jr.’s second marriage, to Swedish actress May Britt, was highly controversial due to the interracial nature of their union. They were married from 1960 to 1968 and had two children, Jeff and Mark. Davis Jr.’s final marriage was to Altovise Gore, whom he wed in 1970 and remained with until his death in 1990.

Throughout his life, Davis Jr. was also known for his close relationships with other famous figures, including Frank Sinatra, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gregory Peck. However, he also struggled with addiction and alcoholism, which led to health problems later in life.

Career Highlights

Davis Jr.’s career spanned several decades and encompassed a wide range of talents. He was a singer, dancer, actor, and impressionist, known for his impeccable timing, charisma, and showmanship. Some of his most famous roles included appearances in films such as “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Robin and the 7 Hoods,” and “Sweet Charity.”

However, it was Davis Jr.’s music career that truly solidified his status as an entertainment icon. He released several albums over the years, including “Starring Sammy Davis Jr.” and “The Sammy Davis Jr. All-Star Spectacular.” He also had many hit songs, such as “The Candy Man,” “Mr. Bojangles,” and “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” Davis Jr.’s influence on music cannot be overstated, as he helped to popularize the swing and bebop genres while also incorporating elements of soul, pop, and R&B into his music.

Legacy and Net Worth

Although Davis Jr. passed away over three decades ago, his legacy and impact on entertainment continue to be felt. He received numerous awards and accolades over the years, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2001. In addition to his contributions to music and film, Davis Jr. was also a dedicated philanthropist and civil rights activist, working tirelessly to support causes such as racial equality and children’s education.

In terms of net worth, Davis Jr.’s estate is estimated to be worth over $50 million, a testament to his enduring popularity and success.

Height and Other Fun Facts

In addition to his many accomplishments, Davis Jr. was also known for his diminutive height. Standing at just 5’5”, he was often the shortest member of the Rat Pack, which included fellow entertainers such as Sinatra and Dean Martin. However, his larger-than-life personality more than made up for his stature, and audiences were captivated by his performances regardless of his size.

In addition to his impressive career, Davis Jr. was also known for his unique sense of style. He often wore flamboyant outfits, including brightly-colored suits and patterned shirts, which only added to his aura of showmanship and glamour.


Sammy Davis Jr. was an extraordinary entertainer, known for his incredible talent, resilience, and passion for his craft. Although he faced numerous obstacles throughout his life, including discrimination and addiction, he never lost sight of his dreams, and remained committed to entertaining and inspiring audiences until the very end. Davis Jr.’s impact on entertainment and culture cannot be overstated, and his legacy continues to resonate with fans of all generations.

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