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Nancy Sinatra Remembers Her Uncle Sam — inside Frank Sinatra & Sammy Davis Jr's Friendship

Rebelander Basilan
Dec 11, 2020
08:15 P.M.
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Singer and actress Nancy Sinatra recently took to social media to pay tribute to her uncle Sammy Davis Jr, who was a close friend of her father, Frank Sinatra.

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On December 8, 2020, Nancy Sinatra shared a photo of Sammy Davis Jr on her Twitter page. Along with the adorable snap, the elder daughter of Frank Sinatra wrote:

"Happy heavenly birthday to one of the most wonderful people who EVER lived, Sammy Davis, Jr., my Uncle Sam."

Nancy Sinatra at The Paley Center for Media on July 24, 2015 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Nancy Sinatra at The Paley Center for Media on July 24, 2015 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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Davis was a singer, dancer, impressionist, drummer, and actor. He did not allow racism or even the loss of an eye to stop him. Davis soaked up knowledge from his chosen teachers, including Sinatra.

In 1965, Davis released his autobiography, "Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr." In his book, he wrote everything from the racist violence he faced in the army to his conversion to Judaism.

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Davis was a member of the group called "Rat Pack." He was joined by Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. In the 1960s, they appeared together on stage and in movies.

Davis had a close bond with Sinatra. He first met Sinatra during his teens when he helped open for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Sinatra. They later became lifelong friends.

In 1961, Davis and Sinatra campaigned to elect President John F. Kennedy.

Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. at anti-defamation rally in Madison Square Garden, New York City, circa 1960s. | Photo: Getty Images

Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. at anti-defamation rally in Madison Square Garden, New York City, circa 1960s. | Photo: Getty Images

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In fact, to Davis, Sinatra was like his big brother. To prove how important Davis was to Sinatra, the latter once tore up his contract when a theater rejected Davis because of his race.

"I wanted to be like him, I wanted to dress like him, I wanted to look like him," Davis once said. "I took my hair and had it all done up, Sinatra style, with the little curl here and all."

The Rat Pack performing at the Keil Opera House in St. Louis, Missouri, June 20, 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

The Rat Pack performing at the Keil Opera House in St. Louis, Missouri, June 20, 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

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In 1961, Davis and Sinatra campaigned to elect President John F. Kennedy. However, Kennedy refused to let him perform at his inauguration after Davis tied the knot with Swedish actress May Britt.

Davis' daughter with Britt, Tracey Davis, revealed the incident in her book, titled "Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal History with My Father." She based it on her conversations with her dad.

The Rat Pack pictured in 1955. | Photo: Getty Images

The Rat Pack pictured in 1955. | Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Davis, Sinatra, Martin, Lawford, and Bishop, also known as the "Rat Pack," were named the ultimate kings of cool. The group became synonymous with Hollywood glamour.

Davis died of complications from throat cancer on May 16, 1990, at 64 years old. Sinatra, on the other hand, passed away from a heart attack on May 14, 1998. He was 82.

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