DEAD: Sammy Davis Jr.

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Sammy Davis Jr. (aged 64)
American musician and entertainer

Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American singer, musician, dancer, actor, vaudevillian and comedian, noted for his impressions of actors, musicians and other celebrities. At the age of three, Davis Jr. began his career in vaudeville with his father, Sammy Davis Sr.and the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally.

DEATH: In August 1989, Davis began to develop symptoms—a tickle in his throat and an inability to taste food.Doctors found a cancerous tumor in Davis’s throat.He had often smoked four packs of cigarettes a day as an adult. When told that surgery (laryngectomy) offered him the best chance of survival, Davis replied he would rather keep his voice than have a part of his throat removed; he was initially treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. His larynx was later removed when his cancer recurred. He was released from the hospital on March 13, 1990.

Davis died of complications from throat cancer two months later at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on May 16, 1990 at the age of 64. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park. On May 18, 1990, two days after his death, the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip were darkened for ten minutes as a tribute.

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