Denzel Washington to play Sammy Davis Jr.

HOLLYWOOD, July 6 (UPI) -- Noted U.S. actor Denzel Washington will play Rat Pack icon Sammy Davis Jr. in a biographical film, Empire magazine's Web site reported Tuesday.

The movie will be based on the biography "In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr." and show Davis from his youth to his death.


In show business from the age of 4, Davis got around child labor laws by holding a miniature cigarette and being billed as "Silent Sam, the Dancing Midget" in his youth.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Davis returned to the stage and screen to growing success.

He formed a lifelong friendship with Sinatra when he supported him on tour. In the 1950s Davis converted to Judaism after losing his left eye in a car crash, dated Caucasian actresses at a time when racial segregation was an increasingly hot issue and got involved in the civil rights movement.

Film roles included the original "Ocean's 11" and the "Cannonball Run" movies.

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