Starring Sammy Davis Jr. As Mr. Show Business: Inspiring Stories And Facts

By Kellar Ellsworth
LOS ANGELES - 1953: Actress Marilyn Monroe leans on a Singer Automobile as she watches entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. on the set of the movie "How To Marry A Millionaire." (Photo by Frank Worth, Courtesy of Capital Art/Getty Images)

Few stars earned better or more deserved nicknames than Sammy Davis Jr., or "Mr. Show Business" as he was called.  A singer, dancer, and actor, Davis was an old-school entertainer, bon vivant and civil-rights influencer like none other -- taking calls from Frank Sinatra and Martin Luther King, Jr. while plotting his next stage show or TV extravaganza. Perhaps no other celebrity faced as much adversity or lived as diverse a life as Mr. Show Business.

Born in Harlem to African American and Cuban parents, he got his first taste of show business when he was just three years old and never received formal schooling. The further the world gets from the life of Sammy Davis Jr., the more incredible his life appears in hindsight. Here’s to the life of the only self-proclaimed “Black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world."