Singing, dancing, and acting legend Sammy Davis, Jr., got his start in the business early–at age two, he was already hamming it up in his parents’ act. By age three, Davis and his father had started touring the vaudeville circuit (Sammy was billed as “Silent Sam the Dancing Midget” to circumnavigate child labor laws). At seven, Davis had his film debut in the short Rufus Jones for President (1933).
After serving in World War II, he landed an auspicious gig opening for crooner Frank Sinatra. His acquaintance with Sinatra would figure prominently in his life and career, as Davis became a core member of Sinatra’s infamous fraternity of hijink-prone entertainers, the so-called “Rat Pack.” From the stages of the world to the big and little screens, Davis triumphed across the board as few entertainment figures ever have. Always suffering from a host of physical infirmities, Davis lost a battle with cancer in 1990.
“You name it and I’ve done it. I’d like to say I did it my way. But that line, I’m afraid, belongs to someone else.”
– Sammy Davis, Jr.