Altovise Davis: What Happened To Sammy Davis Jr’s Wife?

Altovise Davis

Altovise Davis was an entertainer and the widow of Samuel George Davis Jr. Altovise’s late husband Sammy Jr was a well-known singer, actor, comedian, and dancer. He was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his television performances.

Altovise Davis: Bio Summary

Name Altovise Davis
Date of birth August 30, 1943
Place of birth Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Famous as wife of Sammy Davis Jr.
Nationality American
Died 14 March 2009 (aged 65)
Spouse Sammy Davis Jr.
Children Manny Davis
Occupation Actress, dancer

Who Was Sammy Davis Jr’s Wife, Altovise Davis?

Altovise Davis was born on August 30, 1943, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. Her full name is Altovise Joanne Gore. She was the daughter of Altovise Ford. Although she was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, she was brought up in Brooklyn, New York. There isn’t much information about her life as a child, relatives, and family background.

Altovise studied at the High School of the Performing Arts in New York City for four years. She was a life member of The Actors Studio. During the 1960s, she worked as a chorus-line dancer in various musical shows both in London and on Broadway. She was an entertainer and dancer. As an actress, she played the role of Deputy Molly in Welcome to Arrow Beach.

Altovise was in an episode of the series Bert D’Angelo/Superstar. She appeared in the film Pipe Dreams as Lydia. She played Birch Colby in Kingdom of the Spiders. She appeared in one episode of Charlie’s Angels. She also played Mrs. Bell in “Boardwalk” and Alicia Edwards in “Can’t Stop the Music”. She was uncredited for her appearance in the series CHiPs.

Altovise was in The Perils of P.K. as well. She and Sammy Davis Jr were frequent panelists on the 1970s television game show Tattletales. Altovise appeared as herself on The David Frost Show, The Merv Griffin Show, NBC Follies, Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Sammy Davis Jr., Showoffs, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Altovise has made other appearances on The Cross-Wits, The 2nd Annual Black Achievement Awards, The Mike Douglas Show, The Third Annual Black Achievement Awards, All-Star Party for Clint Eastwood, Ebony/Jet Showcase, The Joan Rivers Show, Wogan, E! True Hollywood Story, Tavis Smiley, and Telethon. Altovise was also a philanthropist.

Altovise Davis was active in several philanthropic organizations in Los Angeles. She performed at many benefit programs, particularly for SHARE Inc., a nonprofit group that raises money for developmentally disabled, abused, and neglected children.

ALSO, READ: Loray White: Everything About Sammy Davis Jr’s Ex-wife

Altovise Davis Became Sammy Davis Jr’s Third Wife In 1970

Altovise Davis was the third wife of singer, actor, comedian, and dancer Sammy Davis Jr. They met while they were performing in the 1968 Broadway show “Golden Boy”. They soon started dating. Sammy is said to have even created a nightclub show in which Altovise was the lead singer-dancer. They got married on May 11, 1970.

Their wedding happened in a Philadelphia courthouse by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Altovise became the stepmom of Sammy Davis Jr’s three children from his previous marriage. Altovise and her husband Sammy had no children together however, they adopted a son, Manny Davis, in 1989. The couple remained married until Sammy died.

Sammy Davis Jr. died five days after their 20th wedding anniversary. Before Altovise Davis came into the picture, Sammy Davis Jr was married to black dancer, singer, and actress Loray White. He and Loray’s marriage was arranged. They married in 1958 after Sammy paid Loray a lump sum( $10,000 or $25,000).

Sammy offered Loray the money so that she would agree to become his wife on the condition that the marriage would be dissolved before the end of the year. Loray agreed. On the wedding day of Loray White and Sammy Davis Jr, Sammy got drunk and even attempted to strangle Loray. This marriage didn’t last long.

Sammy Jr and Loray White got divorced in April 1959. They had no children together. Sammy Jr’s second wife was Swedish actress May Britt (born May Britt Wilkens). They got married on 13 November 1960. Sammy Jr and May Britt had a daughter Tracey Davis and adopted two sons, Mark Davis and Jeff Davis.

Their marriage ended in 1968 after Sammy Jr confessed to having an extramarital affair with American singer, dancer, and actress Lola Falana. It was after Sammy Jr and his second wife May Britt divorced that he married Altovise Davis, his third and final wife. Following Sammy Jr’s death, Altovise faced tax problems.

ALSO, READ: Manny Davis: Who Is Sammy Davis Jr’s Son?

Altovise Davis was included in 2008 on the California Franchise Tax Board’s list of the top 250 delinquent taxpayers, with $2,708,901.75 in unpaid personal income tax.

What Happened To Sammy Davis Jr’s Wife?

Altovise Davis died of complications from a stroke. She died at age 65, on March 14, 2009, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA. Her husband, Sammy Davis Jr died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on May 16, 1990, at age 64. He died of complications from throat cancer.

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Ruth Kai Botchway

Ruth Kai Botchway is a Senior Editor at She is a graduate of All Stars Media College (2021) with a Diploma in Journalism and Media Studies. With more than two years experience in Journalism, she has served as an intern at Accra FM and worked with Green TV and Ashiaman TV. She worked as a Maritime Journalist/ influencer, producing Port and Maritime agenda initially aired on Ashiaman TV. You can reach her via email:

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