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In 1966 he had his own TV variety show, titled The Sammy Davis Jr. Davis's career slowed in the late 1960s, but he had a hit record with "The Candy Man" in 1972 and became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname "Mister Show Business".

Davis was a victim of racism throughout his life, particularly during the pre-Civil Rights era, and was a large financial supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. I'm a one-eyed Negro Jew." After reuniting with Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1987, Davis toured with them and Liza Minnelli internationally, before he died of throat cancer in 1990.

Davis became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro's (in West Hollywood) after the 1951 Academy Awards. In 1954, he lost his left eye in a car accident, and several years later, he converted to Judaism finding commonalities between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities. In 1960, he appeared in the Rat Pack film Ocean's 11.

After a starring role on Broadway in Mr Wonderful (1956), he returned to the stage in 1964's Golden Boy.

Although he was still popular in Las Vegas, he saw his musical career decline by the late 1960s. He signed with Motown to update his sound and appeal to young people.

His deal to have his own label with the company fell through. 1 hit with "The Candy Man" with MGM Records in 1972.

No dressing rooms were provided for black performers, and they had to wait outside by the swimming pool between acts.

Davis and other black artists could entertain but could not stay at the hotels where they performed, gamble in the casinos, or dine or drink in the hotel restaurants and bars.

He later said: "Overnight the world looked different. I could see the protection I'd gotten all my life from my father and Will.

I appreciated their loving hope that I'd never need to know about prejudice and hate, but they were wrong.

His father, not wanting to lose custody of his son, took him on tour.

Davis learned to dance from his father and his "uncle" Will Mastin.

At the age of three, Davis began his career in vaudeville with his father and Will Mastin as the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally.