During his lifetime, Sammy Davis, Jr. served in World War II, fought racial segregation, converted to Judaism and made $50 million singing, dancing and cavorting with the Rat Pack. But according to reports, by the time he passed away, he was impoverished and deeply in debt to the IRS.
His death in 1990 resulted in a massive debt due to poor estate planning. His longstanding wife Altovise, was forced to hold an auction in an effort to raise money for the $7 million federal estate tax bill he left behind.
It was reported that Altovise received the knowledge that Davis was bankrupt after he had passed away. She then had his body exhumed and collected the $70,000 worth of jewelry he was buried with.
When Altovise Davis passed on in 2004, the estate was valued at more than $10 million as a result of Sammy's creative legacy. His son Manny oversees the estate.
Samuel George 'Sammy' Davis, Jr. was born on December 8, 1925 and died on May 16, 1990 of throat cancer at the age of 64. He's considered one of the world's greatest entertainers, a versatile performer equally adept at singing, dancing, acting and impersonations.
Learn more about Mr. Show Business by checking these 7 facts shared by Biography.com.
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