Sammy Davis, Jr. Featured on American Masters | ThinkTV

Sammy Davis, Jr. Featured on American Masters

Last Updated by Kellie May on

This February, in honor of Black History Month, American Masters will present a profile of an iconic performer who broke new ground in entertainment as the Civil Rights movement gathered momentum in America – Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr. had an indisputably legendary career that was vast in scope and scale. His life was as complex as it was legendary. Davis strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and shifting political territory. A veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions, he worked tirelessly to stay relevant, even as he frequently found himself caught between the bigotry of white America and the distaste of black America. In addition, Davis was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, tying his identity to that of another persecuted minority.

Featuring exclusive interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, as well as never-before-seen photos from Davis’ vast personal collection and rare footage from his performances in television, film and concert, American Masters – Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me explores the life and art of a uniquely gifted entertainer whose trajectory paralleled the major flashpoints of American society, from the Great Depression through the 1980s.

American Masters: Sammy Davis Jr. premieres Tuesday, February 19 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16.