Sammy Davis Jr. is one of the most quintessential entertainers of the 20th century. Born December 8, 1925 in Harlem, New York, his range of talent has impacted several generations that followed behind him. Continuing in the footsteps of his own father, Sammy Davis Sr., he began his career at the age of three with a film career launching in 1933.

Sammy Davis Jr. singing a soulful tune. Image: courtesy of The Estate of Sammy Davis Jr.

Until his passing, Davis Jr. was integral in broadening the entertainment landscape while pushing the boundaries for desegregation in Hollywood. He was nominated for multiple awards throughout his career and achieved great acclaim. His entourage included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Joey Bishop—all part of the infamous 60s "Rat Pack." His variety show, The Sammy Davis Jr. Show, set the tone for other similar shows. A biopic about his life and legacy is currently in development by The Estate of Sammy Davis jr.

Celebrating what would have been his 97th birthday, the Sammy Davis Jr. estate held a private ceremony yesterday at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.

"My father loved entertaining everyone...the whole world over. It has always been a passion of his ever since he was able to walk, talk, tap, sing and act..etc. He did it all! He opened a whole lot of doors for a whole lot of people that weren't afforded the opportunities that he fought so hard to attain," said Manny Davis, Sammy Davis Jr.'s son. "Today is the first of many events that we have planned to celebrate his life and his body of work for the rest of these years going forward. In the coming years, we want people to be able to come pay their respects, as we know how much of an impact he has had on so many lives."

Sammy Davis Jr. dancing. Image: courtesy of The Estate of Sammy Davis Jr.

The legendary entertainer's gravesite will be opened to the public. Beginning next year, fans of the late great entertainer will have an opportunity to visit and share their respects.