Winner of the International FOCAL Award for Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment Production, 2015
“Many people ask me what I’ve enjoyed most in my long career in show business. My answer is always the same. Working with Sammy Davis Jr on a special we made together in 1980. Of all the many shows I’ve been associated with – well, that was the best” – the words of Sir Bruce Forsyth.
Sir Bruce Forsyth considered Sammy Davis Jr to be the greatest entertainer of all time – a performer who could sing, dance, act, tell jokes, do impersonations…and all to an astonishingly high standard. His was a career that emerged from the dying days on vaudeville and continued on to superstardom, taking in nightclub performances, Broadway and West End theatre, Hollywood movies, his own television specials and series, the biggest showrooms in Las Vegas and command performances for royalty and presidents.
In this acclaimed film, Sir Bruce met friends and collaborators of Sammy Davis Jr, people who worked with him on some of his most celebrated performances including producer George Schlatter, producer Gary Smith, choreographer and dancer Lionel Blair, performer Madeline Bell, composer Leslie Bricusse, movie producer Steve Ballmer, and Sammy’s biographer Burt Boyar. Filmed on location in California and London, Sir Bruce also visited some of the locations that had key significance in Sammy’s story including the former Ciro’s nightclub in Los Angeles and the desert location of his life-changing car accident. The programme includes rarely seen footage of some of Sammy Davis Jr’s earliest work.
Produced for ITV