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Cancer-Stricken Sammy Davis Jr.’s Health Deteriorating

May 10, 1990 GMT

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Sammy Davis Jr., battling throat cancer, now weighs about 60 pounds and has been reduced to a fetal position, a source close to the entertainer disclosed Thursday.

While publicist Susan Reynolds would say only that Davis was ″resting″ and ″there has been no change,″ friends reported the song-and-dance man obviously has been losing his battle with cancer since he was released from a hospital eight weeks ago.

Celebrities who have worked with Davis for four decades go to see him and come away ″heartsick,″ some in tears, a source close to the family, who requested anonymity, told The Associated Press.


Davis, 64, is hardly able to utter a word because of a tracheotomy performed in connection with his throat cancer, the source said.

His weight has dropped to about 60 pounds and he was in a fetal position, said another source close to the entertainer who also requested anonymity. The source said he’d be surprised if Davis lived another week.

Reynolds would not comment on the report.

Davis was released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on March 13 to recuperate at home. He was first diagnosed with carcinoma of the throat last September.

He was admitted to Cedars-Sinai in mid-January for treatment of a gum infection and doctors later found that he had a recurrence of throat cancer. No further chemotherapy was planned.

In addition to visits by Frank Sinatra and others, Davis’s namesake grandson visited his Beverly Hills home earlier this month.

Davis’ daughter Tracey, 28, and her husband, Guy Garner, stopped by to introduce newborn Sam Michael Garner.

The entertainer was given a special tribute Sunday at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces testimonial dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel.

″He’s been called one of a kind, the last of a breed, an endangered species, and Mr. Wonderful,″ said comedian Red Buttons.

Davis, who converted to Judaism, was cited by the group for his ″love of humanity.″ In her brief acceptance, Davis’ wife Altovise said, ″To try and say thank you is almost impossible. We are so grateful. This is quite an honor.″