They say that friends are the family you choose, and this couldn’t be truer for two iconic entertainers – Elvis Presley and Sammy Davis, Jr. Their friendship was more than just a passing acquaintance; it spanned over two decades and was filled with laughter, fun, and a shared bond of rebellion. Let’s take a closer look at the extraordinary friendship between these two legends.
A Meeting of Rebels
Elvis and Sammy first crossed paths in early 1957 on the set of Presley’s film, “Loving You.” By this time, Davis had already made a name for himself as a renowned club entertainer, recording artist, and Broadway performer. Their instant connection was fueled by their shared rebellious spirits and mutual love for motorcycles. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
A Bond Forged in Fun
From that point on, Elvis and Sammy became constant companions, always looking for a good time. Whenever they were in the same town, they ran together, laughed together, and partied together. Sammy was often seen at Elvis’s Beverly Wilshire penthouse suite, making the party scene. Their friendship was a source of joy for both of them.
One of the most memorable moments of their friendship took place at a party in Elvis’s suite. Sammy delighted the crowd with a hilarious impromptu performance, dueling Brando imitations with Nick Adams. Another time, Sammy entertained a group of friends with a Jekyll and Hyde routine that left Elvis genuinely scared. Their friendship was filled with these unique and unforgettable moments.
Elvis and Sammy not only shared a bond as friends but also dreamt of collaborating professionally. They were considered for the lead roles in the film “The Defiant Ones,” a powerful story about two chain-gang prisoners who escape while chained together. Unfortunately, Colonel Parker, Elvis’s manager, didn’t approve of the idea, and their professional collaboration never came to fruition. It was a disappointment for both Sammy and Elvis.
Their friendship continued to thrive throughout the years, especially during Elvis’s Las Vegas glory days. Sammy was a devoted fan and attended most of Elvis’s shows in Vegas. His infectious enthusiasm and support meant the world to Elvis. Sammy could always be found in the audience, jumping up and down, applauding wildly, and shouting encouragement.
The Passing of Legends
Tragically, Elvis’s life was cut short on August 16, 1977. Sammy attended his funeral and delivered a heartfelt eulogy. He remembered Elvis as a fun-loving, humorous, and genuine person. Sammy acknowledged Elvis’s frustrations with his Hollywood career and admired his desire to break free from the expectations set upon him. Elvis was more than just a teenage heartthrob; he was an artist longing for artistic growth.
A Lasting Legacy
Sammy Davis, Jr., carried their friendship in his heart for the rest of his life. He continued to reflect on the incredible bond they shared and the joy they brought each other. Sammy passed away in 1990, leaving behind a legacy of talent and friendship. His friendship with Elvis was a testament to the power of genuine connections and the incredible impact they can have on our lives.
In conclusion, the friendship between Elvis Presley and Sammy Davis, Jr., was a cherished bond filled with laughter, fun, and shared dreams. They were rebels who found solace in each other’s company and supported each other through life’s ups and downs. Their friendship serves as a reminder that true connections can transcend fame and leave an indelible mark on our hearts.
To learn more about the fascinating history of Elvis Presley, visit All about Elvis.