Author Tracey Davis, daughter of Sammy Davis Jr., dies at 59

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Tracey Davis

LAS VEGAS – OCTOBER 28: Tracey Davis, daughter of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., arrives at the opening of Wayne Newton’s limited-engagement production “Once Before I Go” at the Tropicana Las Vegas October 28, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Tropicana)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tracey Davis, an author and daughter of Rat Pack entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. and actress May Britt, has died. She was 59.

Davis’ ex-husband Guy Garner told The Associated Press that Davis died in Franklin, Tennessee, on Nov. 2 after a short illness, but the cause of death was not yet determined.

Davis wrote about her experiences as the daughter of one of the greatest entertainers ever, whose career kept them apart during her childhood years, in her 1996 book “Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father.” The book was about her journey to reconnect with her father later as an adult. It was co-written with Dolores A. Barclay, a former editor at the AP.

She wrote a second book, “Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal Journey With My Father,” in 2014. In her books, she wrote about his experiences encountering racism throughout his career.

Tracey Davis
LAS VEGAS – OCTOBER 28: (L-R) Tracey Davis, daughter of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., entertainer Wayne Newton and Barrett LaRoda, Chairman of Sammy Davis Jr. Enterprises Inc., appear in Newton’s dressing room after the opening of his limited-engagement production “Once Before I Go” at the Tropicana Las Vegas October 28, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Tropicana)

MGM announced plans last month to develop a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic based on Davis’ first book.

“I am thrilled to know my father’s life, both private and public, will be brought to the big screen with this team of storytellers,” Davis said in a statement when the deal was announced. “He and my mother May Britt took on the world, choosing love and compassion over hatred and bigotry, and I am a product of that decision.”

Davis, who had a professional career in television and advertising, is survived by her four children, her mother and her brothers.

“She loved and adored her kids more than anything. Needless to say, they are all shocked and devastated by the loss of their mother, as are Tracey’s mother, May Britt Ringquist and her brothers, Mark and Jeff,” Garner said.

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