Davis, Samuel G., Jr., Pvt

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Private
Last Service Branch
Quartermaster Corps
Last Primary MOS
442-Entertainment Specialist
Last MOS Group
Army Band (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1945, 442, Army Service Forces
Service Years
1943 - 1943

Private


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
1925
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Davis, Samuel G., Jr., Pvt.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Harlem, Manhattan, New York City
Last Address
Beverly Hills

Date of Passing
May 16, 1990
 
Location of Interment
Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Glendale, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Garden of Honor (locked private area)

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Quartermaster

 
 Unit Assignments
US Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM)Army Service Forces
  1943-1945, 442, Army Entertainment Detachment
  1943-1945, 442, Army Service Forces
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1945 World War II
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Many saw him as a rival to his fellow rat-packer Frank Sinatra. He brought black into the white homes of segregated America and entertained all.

Thanks to his parents, Sammy Davis Jr's route to fame began in Vaudeville, before moving on to the dizzy heights of Broadway and Las Vegas.

An all-round performer, he could sing, act, dance and make people laugh with his many impersonations. Davis's long career in show business was even more remarkable because he managed to overcome racial barriers, in an era of strict segregation and racism.

Davis was drafted into the US Army when was eighteen and his experiences were not happy ones.

Suffering abuse by fellow soldiers, he was transferred to an entertainment regiment, and eventually found himself performing in front of some of the same soldiers who had painted the word "coon" on his forehead.

After the war, Davis went solo and signed a recording contract with Decca Records. His first two albums - ‚??Starring Sammy Davis, Jr‚?? and ‚??Just for Lovers‚?? ‚?? both sold well and he soon became a headliner in Las Vegas and New York.

In the 1960s Davis managed to turn an average Broadway show, ‚??Mr Wonderful‚??, into a roaring success. He went on to woo critics in the film ‚??Porgy and Bess‚?? and, as a member of the high-profile ‚??Rat Pack‚??, he hobnobbed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, and Joey Bishop.

The highlife also served up pitfalls for Davis, and his marriage to Swedish actress May Britt earned him the vitriol of the Ku Klux Klan. While his ‚??Rat Pack‚?? ways of drink and drugs threatened his health, his lavish lifestyle nearly bankrupted him.

In the mid-1950s, Sammy was involved with Kim Novak, who was a valuable star under contract to Columbia Studios.

The head of the studio, Harry Cohn called one of the mob bosses, who was asked to tell Sammy that he had to stop the affair.

In 1960, Davis caused controversy when he married white Swedish-born actress May Britt. Davis received hate mail when he was starred in the Broadway musical adaptation of Golden Boy from 1964 - 1966 (for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor), but that did not bother his fans. At the time Davis appeared in the play, interracial marriages were forbidden by law in many US states. The couple had one daughter and adopted two sons.

Davis performed almost continuously and spent little time with his wife. They divorced in 1968, after Davis admitted to having had an affair with singer Lola Falana. That year, Davis started dating Altovise Gore, a dancer in "Golden Boy". They were wed in 1970 by Jesse Jackson. They adopted a child, and remained married until Davis' death in 1990.

Davis became addicted to drugs and alcohol, later developing both liver and kidney trouble which required hospitalisation in 1974.

The last fifteen years of Davis's life were conducted at the performer's usual hectic pace. In 1978 he appeared in another Broadway musical, ‚??Stop the World - I Want To Get Off‚??

Following the discovery of a throat tumour in 1989, Davis underwent radiation therapy, and died in 1990.

   
Other Comments:

SAMMY DAVIS, JR. (EXTREME MILITARY RACISM)

Before achieving fame, Sammy Davis, Jr. served in the army.  When he arrived for basic training he saw a PFC sitting on the steps of the barracks.  He walked over to him and said, "Excuse me, buddy.  I'm a little lost.  Can you tell me where 202 is?  The man jerked his head back and said "Two buildings down and I'm not your buddy, you black bastard!"

A few days later, Davis was strapping on a watch his father gave him, it slipped to the floor next to a soldier's bed.  The man, Jennings, crushed the watch with his army boot.  Without missing a beat, he looked at Sammy and said, "Don't worry boy, you can always steal another one."

Jennings was the ringleader of a group of racist soldiers who made Davis' life hell in the Army.  After a performance at the Officer's Club, Jennings motioned for Sammy to join his table, he said he wanted to make peace and slid a pitcher of beer towards Sammy.  When Sammy poured a drink and started drinking, the soldiers fell out laughing. Sammy soon discovered that he was actually drinking urine.

Later, this same group would kidnap Sammy out of the barracks and paint him white (with white paint) from head to toe.

When Sammy got out of the Army and achieved international success, he was invited to perform at the White House.  When his limo arrived, the man guarding the White House Gate was Jennings.

Sammy said, "Don't I know you?"

Jennings replied, "no sir, Mr. Davis."

   
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