Photo of Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr.

Born Dec. 8, 1925, in New York City, Sammy Davis Jr. spent his childhood performing with his father on the vaudeville circuit and made his film debut at age 7 in Rufus Jones for President (1933).

After serving in World War II, he returned to the United States with a deeper desire than ever to be famous, establishing a successful recording career and a relationship with the high-profile Rat Pack, which led to roles in Ocean's Eleven (1960), Sergeants 3 (1962), Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) and Salt and Pepper (1968). Davis made his Broadway debut in 1956 in the semiautobiographical musical "Mr. Wonderful" and earned a Tony nomination in 1964 for his performance in the musical version of Clifford Odets's "Golden Boy."

He returned to the stage in 1978 with a revival of "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off." A longtime cigar smoker, he died May 16, 1990, of throat cancer.

Sammy Davis Jr. in The Cannonball Run

The Cannonball Run

1981 PG

High jinks and hilarity ensue as daring drivers -- including Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Peter Fonda, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jackie Chan -- team up for an illegal cross-country road race that they'll do anything to win.

  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Robin and the 7 Hoods Robin and the 7 Hoods
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in The Ocean's 11 Story The Ocean's 11 Story
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Ocean's Eleven Ocean's Eleven
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Sweet Charity Sweet Charity
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in The Legendary Liberace The Legendary Liberace
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in A Man Called Adam A Man Called Adam
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Tap Tap
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Best of Person to Person Best of Person to Person
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Anna Lucasta Anna Lucasta
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Merv Griffin: 40 Interesting People Merv Griffin: 40 Interesting People
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in The Best of Password: 1962-1967 The Best of Password: 1962-1967
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in The Patty Duke Show: Season 2 The Patty Duke Show: Season 2
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Playboy After Dark Playboy After Dark
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Salt and Pepper Salt and Pepper
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in One More Time One More Time
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in James Dean: The First American Teenager James Dean: The First American Teenager
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in That's Dancing! That's Dancing!
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Sinatra: Gold Collector's Edition Sinatra: Gold Collector's Edition
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Sammy Davis Jr.: One Cool Cat Sammy Davis Jr.: One Cool Cat
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in The Legendary Nat The Legendary Nat "King" Cole
  • Sammy Davis Jr. in Larry King Live: Greatest Interviews Larry King Live: Greatest Interviews