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Sammy Davis Jr.: Mr. Show Business

Published: 5/16/2012
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Sammy Davis Jr. (Getty Images / Moviepix / Silver Screen Collection)

Sammy Davis Jr. was a performer all his life, beginning on vaudeville when he was just three years old. As he grew up and grew famous, he wowed us with his multifaceted talent: he could sing, dance, act, and do spot-on impressions – all with ease.

A member of the much-celebrated Rat Pack, Davis was still performing with his friends Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin just a few years before his death from throat cancer on May 16, 1990. Entertaining was in his blood – it's why he was a Kennedy Center honoree, Emmy Award winner, Tony and Golden Globe nominee, and a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

On the anniversary of his death, we're remembering what made "Mr. Show Business" so special and so magnetic. Here are a few clips showcasing his broad talent.

Check out his spectacular tap-dancing skills – in between steps, he sings and makes the crowd laugh, too:
 

 

 

When Davis appeared on What's My Line? he nearly stumped the panel with his celebrity impressions:
 

 

 

 

 

And then, of course, there's his classic, "The Candy Man":
 

 

 

 

 

Written by Linnea Crowther
 

 

 

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