Altovise Davis, 65, widow of Rat Pack singer and dancer Sammy Davis Jr., died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke, her business partner Barrett LaRoda said.
Trained as an actress and dancer, Mrs. Davis met the legendary showman in 1968, when they were in Broadway musicals, he in Golden Boy and she in the chorus line of High Spirits.
They married at a Philadelphia courthouse in May 1970 and adopted a son in 1989. Sammy Davis died of throat cancer at age 64 on May 16, 1990, five days after their 20th wedding anniversary.
Mrs. Davis had a difficult time after her husband's death. He owed a reported $7 million in unpaid income tax, and to satisfy the IRS, his mansion in Beverly Hills was sold. Jewelry, memorabilia, and other personal items were auctioned. After a struggle with alcoholism, she settled the tax liability in 1997 and went about restoring her husband's legacy. She helped organize a touring show called Mr. Bojangles: The Ultimate Entertainer in 2006.
After they married, Mrs. Davis became active in philanthropic organizations. She performed at benefit programs and appeared occasionally in TV roles.
- Los Angeles Times