Sammy Davis Jr Funeral
Davis’s career was marked by a commitment to civil rights. He fought segregation and refused to work at venues that remained exclusive to whites.
He was also a member of the Rat Pack, a group of entertainers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford. He toured the country with the trio, and he performed in films.
1. Sammy’s wife Altovise
Sammy’s wife Altovise Gore Davis was an actress and dancer who met her husband Sammy at a tap dancing club in London. They married in 1970 and adopted a son.
After his death, she was liable for his IRS debt of $7 million. To pay that, she sold his mansion and other personal items.
While she suffered from alcoholism, she fought through a program to get her life back on track and set about restoring his legacy. She helped organize a musical touring show called “Mr. Bojangles: The Ultimate Entertainer,” according to Essence magazine.
She also worked to help others who were struggling with a variety of issues, such as substance abuse or mental health problems. She was a passionate and caring woman who was always trying to make people happy, whether they were friends or family. She was deeply loved by many, and will be missed by them all. She is survived by her daughter Tracey and her son Mark, and their families.
2. The estate of Sammy Davis Jr.
In 1960, a social movement in opposition to the previous decade’s conservative values was taking hold. Young girls began to wear swimsuits into stores, a move that Sammy may have found surprising.
He also seems to defend the girls’ freedom in this story, a sign that he may have begun to adopt a progressive ideology. However, he also still appears to be sexist throughout the story.
Although Sammy’s character is often criticized for being sexist and hypocritical, a historical context can help us better understand his actions and motivations. The countercultural movement in 1960 and the upcoming feminist movement were both bringing about changes in society that impacted how women behaved.
3. The estate of Sammy Davis Jr.’s wife Altovise
In the early 1940s, Sammy Davis Jr., a black vaudeville performer who also became an actor, singer and dancer, joined the Army. In his service, he fought against racism by performing at various bases.
In a way, Davis was a hero for many black soldiers and their families. They admired him for his talent and his courage.
But as a member of the Army, he was frequently harassed by white soldiers. Eventually, he was transferred to an entertainment regiment and put to work performing for the troops.
When he returned to his family in 1944, Sammy vowed not to return to the military again. But, in 1971, he supported Republican President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, which caused controversy among black Americans.
Davis left the bulk of his estate, estimated at $4 million, to his wife Altovise. But she was liable for his $7 million IRS debt (plus interest and penalties) because she had co-signed the tax returns he filed. The IRS and Altovise settled the debt in 1997. She then hired an attorney to help her oversee the estate.
4. The estate of Sammy Davis Jr.’s wife Altovise’s mother
It was one of Hollywood’s most lavish funerals, eulogizing a “greatest entertainer who ever lived,” and a quintessential showman.
But Davis also left behind an incredibly complex estate to sort through. It was filled with liens, mortgages, and powers of attorney, leaving his widow with no real control over his multimillion-dollar IRS debt.
After he died, she sued two of his former business partners in federal court for fraud. The suit is pending, but she did manage to settle part of her tax debt with them.
Her son Manny Davis, the head of Sammy’s estate, also celebrated his birthday this weekend.
In the 1960s, when Davis and his wife May Britt were married, racial tensions were still rampant in America. That’s why they had to put off their first child.
But he did eventually welcome Tracey Davis and her two adopted brothers, Mark and Jeff, into their family. In 1996, she wrote a book about her father called Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father, sharing rare family photographs and memories about her father’s major career moments.
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