Sammy Davis Sr.
Sammy Davis Sr.
Samuel George Davis
December 12, 1900
|Died||May 21, 1988 (aged 87)|
(m. 1923; div. 1928)
Rita Wade Davis
|Children||3, including Sammy Davis Jr.|
Davis was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to Rosa B. Taylor (1870–1957) and Robert Davis (1868–1948). He and his former wife Elvera Sanchez were both dancers in a vaudeville troupe. The couple split up when their son Sammy Jr. was three. Davis took custody of his son, who then went into show business with his father. He and Will Mastin, the leader of the dance troupe, taught Sammy Jr. how to dance and they performed together as the Will Mastin Trio.
Sammy Jr. once stated, "When I was nine I told my father, 'I can outdance you'. 'Oh yeah? What makes you think that?' he asked. 'Cause you taught me everything I know'. 'Yeah, but I didn't teach you everything I know.'"
Sammy Davis Sr. began dancing early in life, and as a young man joined Will Mastin to form a dancing troupe. Soon Sammy Jr. joined the act and they became known as the Will Mastin Trio. The three appeared in the 1956 Broadway musical Mr. Wonderful.
- Quote from caption of photograph in unidentified publication, Modern Myth Museum, undated (but being born in 1925, it must have been c. 1935)
- International, From United Press (1988-05-22). "Obituaries : Sammy Davis Sr., 87; He Led His Son Into Show Business". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- Flint, Peter B. (1990-05-17). "Sammy Davis Jr. Dies at 64; Top Showman Broke Barriers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- Sammy Davis Sr. on IMDb
- Sammy Davis Sr. in photograph of the Will Mastin Trio c. 1935 with Sammy Davis Jr. and Will Mastin
- Sammy Davis Sr. at Find a Grave