Elijah Kelley to Star as Sammy Davis Jr. in Hulu Series Produced by Lee Daniels

According to Variety.com, Hulu has ordered from Lee Daniels’ company eight episodes of a biographical limited series about legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. based on the book In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr. by Wil HaygoodElijah Kelley is set to play the lead role.

Daniels is writing the series with Thomas Westfall, as well as executive producing and directing at least the first two episodes.

Kelley, who has starred in musical projects such as BET‘s record-breaking New Edition miniseries in 2017, NBC’s The Wiz Live in 2015 and the 2007 remake of Hairspray, will collaborate on some of the show’s music in addition to starring and producing.

Davis rose from childhood stardom on the vaudeville stage to become one of the most famous African American entertainers of the 1950s and 1960s, famed for his impeccable tap dancing skills and his warm and inviting vocal style. Davis even overcame losing an eye in an accident and re-learned how to move onstage and perform.

At the same time, he faced several career challenges — over his relationships with white film stars, his 1960 marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, his conversion to Judaism, his closeness to the Kennedys and later Richard Nixon, his problems with alcohol and drugs, and difficulties with identity within the Black community as the times and attitudes changed.

To read more: https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/sammy-davis-jr-series-lee-daniels-hulu-elijah-kelley-1235232780/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/sammy-davis-jr-drama-starring-elijah-kelley-and-from-lee-daniels-lands-at-hulu-1235130031/

[Photo: Sammy Davis Jr., (l); Elijah Kelley (r) via Everett Collection and Beast Williams]