Sammy Davis, Jr. biopic on the way

It's apparently taken a lot of time to finally untangle all the legal hullabaloo, but we're finally going to get a Sammy Davis, Jr. biopic off the ground, as all parties involved have come to an agreement on how to tell its story. Among the producers, in fact, is fellow musician (and friend) Lionel Richie.

The biopic will be based on the memoir YES I CAN: THE STORY OF SAMMY DAVIS, JR. by Burt Boyar with Davis and his wife Jane. Here's a description of the book:

Davis’ life is rich source material. Born in Harlem to a pair of vaudeville dancers, he joined the family act and continued to perform in the Army during World War II. He recorded blues albums and in 1956 starred on Broadway in Mr. Wonderful. By the late 1950s he became a member of the famed Rat Pack alongside Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. A string of movies followed. Davis was almost killed in a 1954 car crash in San Bernardino that cost him his left eye. During his recovery he began studying Judaism and he converted in 1961. A prodigiously talented singer, dancer and instrumentalist, Davis’ career ran the gamut from Harlem nightclubs to Hollywood. Colleagues and friends included masters of tap dancing, recording stars from Nat King Cole to Michael Jackson, and the top arrangers across several decades. Davis headlined in Las Vegas with and without his Rat Pack pals; at the Frontier, he was forced to room offsite, as black artists weren’t allowed to stay at the hotels, gamble in the casinos, or use the dressing rooms. He later refused to work for companies that segregated.

Co-producer Lionel Richie had this to say about the film:

It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friends to the screen. I’m so grateful to be working closely with the Davis family on this and couldn’t be happier to be moving forward on this passion project.

I think Sammy Davis, Jr. is a fascinating figure. He dealt with great hardships due to the color of his skin (especially at that time), so it would be a great reminder what perseverance looks like, and how much farther we still have to come. And, besides, his whole connection with The Rat Pack and that whole era and side of show business is fascinating as well. I can't wait.

Don Cheadle already played him in the HBO RAT PACK movie, so here's wondering who will take up the mantle for the new version. Who do you think should fill his shoes, Schmoes? Sound off below!

Extra Tidbit: Sammy Davis, Jr. filmed a cameo appearance for the James Bond movie DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971). The scene was ultimately cut,
Source: Deadline



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