Legendary recording artist and actor Sammy Davis Jr. shot to fame in the early ‘50s with an undeniable range of talent. The Ocean’s Eleven star married Swedish actress May Britt in 1960 while racial tensions heightened across the U.S. Though their relationship was under a microscope throughout the course of their eight-year marriage, the pair decided to start a family together. Keep scrolling to learn more about Sammy’s four children.
Who Was Sammy Davis Jr.’s Daughter Tracey Davis?
Sammy and May welcomed one biological child together, daughter Tracey Davis, in 1961. In 1996, she wrote the book Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father about how she was able to strengthen the relationship with her father after years of him being consumed by the spotlight.
In a June 2014 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Tracey shared that her father was “married to his work.” However, once she became an adult, she decided it was time to repair their bond and spend more time together.
“I said things like, ‘Dad, I always loved you, but I didn’t like you that much,’” she recalled. “He said, ‘Well, I didn’t like you that much either.’ It turned out the air needed to be cleared.”
In 1989, the Grammy Hall of Famer was diagnosed with throat cancer. By that time, his relationship with Tracey had been salvaged. She was pregnant with her first child with husband Guy Garner as she continued to visit her father in Beverly Hills on his death bed. The Golden Boy actor died in 1990 at the age of 64.
More than two decades later, Tracey wrote Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal Journey With My Father. In the book, she shared rare family photographs and recalled memories about her father’s major career moments from the Rat Pack and beyond. In November 2020, Guy announced to The Associated Press that Tracey had died at the age of 59 in Franklin, Tennessee, after suffering from an undisclosed illness.
“She loved and adored her kids more than anything. Needless to say, they are all shocked and devastated by the loss of their mother, as are Tracey’s mother, May Britt Ringquist and her brothers, Mark and Jeff,” he said.
Who Is Sammy’s Son Mark Davis?
During his marriage to May which lasted until 1968, Sammy became a dad to his first adopted son, Mark Davis, who was born in 1960. Mark remained out of the spotlight up until 2015 when he publicly announced that he believed the vaudeville actor was his biological father. The suspicion came after the Tony nominee said, “You are my son,” to Mark on his death bed.
During an episode of Inside Edition in April 2015, Tracey and Mark took DNA tests to confirm whether or not the suspicions were true. The results revealed that the pair were not biologically related. However, the results did not change their tight sibling bond.
“I love you,” Tracey remarked. Mark reciprocated the feelings saying, “I love you, too.”
Who Is Sammy’s Son Jeff Davis?
The “Candy Man” singer and the Revelation actress also adopted son Jeff Davis during their marriage. While his other siblings were no strangers to the spotlight, Jeff has lived a pretty private life. Not much is publicly known about his personal life.
Who Is Sammy’s Youngest Son, Manny Davis, With Altovise Davis?
After Sammy’s first marriage came to an end, he married Altovise Davis in 1970. Together they adopted their only son, Manny Davis. In a June 2022 interview with Closer, Manny revealed how his upbringing was a bit different from his other half-siblings.
“Being the youngest of Sammy’s children, my experience was different from my siblings,” he shared. “My siblings grew up during the civil rights era. I was a child of the ’70s and ’80s. Most of his goals had been accomplished by then. He and my mother used to take me everywhere with them.”
Though he did not have the same experience growing up as Mark, Tracey and Jeff, the advice that Sammy gave all of his children was the same.
“He taught me to never give up on my dreams,” Manny shared. “And to never settle for anything less than my worth.”
The memories that Manny made with his father will last a lifetime, including playing their favorite game together.
“My father taught me to break the mold, yet always follow the pattern,” he explained. “He used to defeat me relentlessly at Pac-Man, but once I broke out of what I was doing and applied his pattern of success in Pac-Man, I beat his highest score. To this day, he and my mother are the two greatest influences in my life.”