Sammy Davis, Jr. Headshot

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Date of Death: May 16, 1990 (64)

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Sammy Davis, Jr. BIO

Sammy Davis Jr. was an American entertainer, born on December 8, 1925, in Harlem, New York City. He was a multi-talented performer, known for his work as a singer, dancer, actor, and comedian. Davis began his career in vaudeville at the age of three, performing with his father and uncle as part of the Will Mastin Trio.
Davis made his Broadway debut in 1956, in the musical Mr. Wonderful. The show featured songs by Jerry Bock and Larry Holofcener and starred Chita Rivera and Davis himself. Davis received critical acclaim for his performance, and the show ran for 383 performances.
In 1964, Davis appeared in the Broadway production of Golden Boy, a musical about a young African American boxer who dreams of becoming a champion. Davis played the lead role of Joe Wellington, and the show featured music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. Golden Boy was a commercial and critical success, running for 568 performances and earning Davis a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
Davis continued to work in both film and television throughout his career, starring in movies such as Ocean's Eleven, Robin and the 7 Hoods, and A Man Called Adam. He also made numerous appearances on popular television shows, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and The Sammy Davis Jr. Show.
In addition to his work in entertainment, Davis was also a prominent member of the Civil Rights Movement. He was a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and was an active participant in the movement, performing at rallies and fundraising events. Davis was also a member of the Rat Pack, a group of entertainers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Joey Bishop.
Davis continued to perform throughout the 1970s and 1980s, appearing in shows such as Sammy and Company and The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. He also released several albums during this time, including The Song and Dance Man and Sammy Davis Jr. Now.
In 1989, Davis was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent extensive treatment. He continued to perform despite his illness, and in 1990 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Davis passed away on May 16, 1990, at the age of 64. He was remembered as a trailblazer in the entertainment industry, paving the way for future generations of African American performers. His legacy continues to be celebrated today, and his contributions to Broadway, film, and music remain an important part of American culture.

Sammy Davis, Jr. STAGE CREDITS

Broadway Revival, 1978

[West End]
London Production, 1968

Original Broadway Production, 1964
Joe Wellington

Original Broadway Production, 1956

Sammy Davis, Jr. Awards and Nominations

Sammy Davis, Jr. Videos

Sammy Davis, Jr. News

David Campbell Returns to Chatswood With GOOD LOVIN' & MORE

David Campbell, co-host of Today Extra and Weekends on Smooth FM, is back with a new show celebrating songs of soul, swing and the 1960s. Good Lovin’ & More features David’s album in full, a thundering collection of classic ‘60’s blue eyed soul. Learn more about the upcoming show here!

The New York Pops Extends Music Director Steven Reineke's Contract Through 2027-28 Season

Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke’s contract with The New York Pops has been extended through the 2027-2028 season.

Ephrat Asherie Dance's UNDERSCORED is Coming to USC for Los Angeles Premiere

Join Ephrat Asherie Dance for the Los Angeles premiere of UNDERSCORED, a joyful celebration of New York City's underground dance club scene. Featuring pioneers of waacking, voguing, house, and more, this multi-generational performance at USC's Bovard Auditorium on October 19, 2023, is not to be missed.

Bay Area Cabaret Reveals 2023-24 Season Lineup

Bay Area Cabaret has announced the 2023-24 season starring five exceptional and critically acclaimed cabaret, jazz and Broadway artists, all to be presented at the famed Venetian Room, Fairmont San Francisco, beginning Sunday, October 29 through Sunday, April 14. Learn more about the full season lineup here!

DAY OF THE DEAD LIVE! Comes to Brooklyn Art Haus  in October

Day of the Dead LIVE! takes you on a musical journey that is all FUN, celebrating Día de los Muertos, the holiday of family remembrance. Learn more about the event and how to attend here!

Chita Rivera Conversation at NYPL Canceled Due to Illness

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts just announced that its special event 'Chita Rivera in Conversation with Memoir Co-author Patrick Pacheco' has been canceled this evening, September 18.

Photos: See Matt Doyle, Ana Villafañe & More in Rehearsals for SINATRA THE MUSICAL World Premiere

New rehearsal photographs of  Sinatra The Musical, the brand new musical based on the life and career of the legend and cultural icon have been released. Check them out here!

Westport Country Playhouse Presents I'LL DRINK TO THAT! A BROADWAY COCKTAIL HOUR On Friday, September 22

Westport Country Playhouse will present “I'll Drink to That! A Broadway Cocktail Hour,” on Friday, September 22, at 6 p.m., in the Playhouse courtyard and Lucille Lortel White Barn Center, adjacent to the theater.

Interview: Santino Fontana of SANTINO FONTANA AT 54 BELOW

The Tony-winner returns to 54 Below with a mystery set of songs, special guests and showbiz stories.

CHITA, UNA MEMORIA sale hoy a la venta en español

La leyenda de Broadway Chita Rivera publica hoy 29 de agosto sus memorias en español bajo el título CHITA.

Cheyenne Jackson, Ada Vox, and More to be Featured in LA CAGE at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Get ready for an extraordinary performance of LA CAGE at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel featuring Cheyenne Jackson, Ada Vox, and more. Find out when and where you can catch this highly anticipated show in Hollywood. Don't miss this limited-time event – all the details you need to know are right here.

Video: First Look at Matt Doyle, Ana Villafañe and More in SINATRA THE MUSICAL

Rehearsals for Sinatra The Musical, the much anticipated brand new musical based on the life and career of the legend and cultural icon, began last week. Check out an all new video behind the scenes with Matt Doyle here!

LA CAGE Returns With Cheyenne Jackson and Ada Vox in October

 La Cage, a high-energy, immersive live theatrical experience, will launch at Hollywood Roosevelt’s iconic Cinegrill Theatre on October 5. Inspired by the legendary La Cage Aux Folles nightclub in LA, the variety show promises to bring back the golden age of Hollywood supper clubs to a new generation while paying homage to its rich history.  

Photos: See New Workshop Photos for SINATRA THE MUSICAL, Starring Matt Doyle

As rehearsals for Sinatra The Musical, the much anticipated brand new musical based on the life and career of the legend and cultural icon began last week, new photographs taken during a workshop presentation of the show have been released.

Now Hiring: Marketing Manager, Technical Director & More - BWW Classifieds

This Week's New Classified Listings on BroadwayWorld for 8/17/2023 include new jobs for those looking to work in the theatre industry.

Cast and Artistic Team Revealed for THE BALDWIN | GIOVANNI EXPERIENCE

Explore the exciting world of THE BALDWIN | GIOVANNI EXPERIENCE as we unveil the talented cast and artistic team behind this must-see production. Don't miss out on discovering the magic behind THE BALDWIN | GIOVANNI EXPERIENCE!

FSCJ Artist Series Beyond Broadway Presents The Doo Wop Project, November 4,

The FSCJ Artist Series presents The Doo Wop Project as they bring their the dynamic, rave-reviewed celebration of a beloved music genre, to Jacksonville on Saturday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts.

Ana Villafañe and More Join Matt Doyle in SINATRA THE MUSICAL at Birmingham Rep; Full Cast Revealed!

The complete cast of over 20 actors who will be performing in Sinatra The Musical -  the major new musical based on the life and career of the legendary artist and cultural icon which premieres at Birmingham Rep in September 2023 - has been announced. Learn more about the cast and the musical here!

Las Vegas Artist Launches One-Night-Only Exhibit At Jackson Street Project, September 9

The Jackson Street Project is a series of more than thirty large-scale sculptures all created using the rusty and mangled rebar from the tearing up and redevelopment of Jackson Street on the Historic Westside.  

Photos: Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at SAMMY AND ME Rehearsals Starring Eric Jordan Young

Check out exclusive rehearsal photos of Eric Jordan Young and the talented cast of SAMMY AND ME at Bay Street Theater. Get a sneak peek behind the scenes as they prepare for this highly anticipated production.


Sammy Davis, Jr. has appeared on Broadway in 3 shows.

Sammy Davis, Jr. has appeared on London's West End in 1 shows.

Sammy Davis, Jr.'s first West End show was Golden Boy which opened in 1968

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Tony Awards) for Golden Boy .

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