Sammy Davis Jr. made his appearance tonight wearing an eye patch over his left eye. John briefly mentioned Sammy's determination not to let his accident ruin his career. Sammy promoted his upcoming April 3, 1955 appearance on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town." When Dorothy identified Sammy, and John asked her how she accomplished this, she replied, "Well, I'm president of the fan club." (Dorothy's cute phrase isn't meant to be taken literally - she uses it again in 1958 for another contestant.)
In November 1954, while driving on a desert highway from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Sammy lost his left eye in a car crash. He swerved his new 1954 Cadillac Eldorado convertible into oncoming traffic in a failed attempt to avoid hitting a car that was making a U-turn directly in front of him. His head hit the steering wheel, and his eye was impaled by a protruding ornamental chrome cone in the center of the steering wheel. In addition, Sammy's theatrical dresser, Charley, also suffered a jaw injury in the crash. Charley had been asleep in the back of the automobile at the time of the impact. Sammy's unfortunate mishap caused General Motors to redesign the Cadillac's steering wheel to make it safer. Sammy wore an eyepatch for some time after the accident, but eventually shed the patch in favor of the use of a glass eye. With unstoppable spirit, Sammy pushed himself to come back to his former level of performance, in spite of the loss of his eyesight and his depth perception. Truly, he was a remarkable man. Sammy Davis, Jr. died of throat cancer in 1990, at the age of 64. - Suzanne (2005)
Trivia about Sammy Davis: Always articulate, he never attended school of any kind; performing since the age of five, he was largely self-taught. - IMDb (2005)
The panel was rather insensitive to the toe dancer, with their many references to her girth. Today, audiences would find their comments unacceptable. - LorieTarica (2005)
Tidbits: The panel is introduced backwards tonight, but they are seated in their usual chairs. The introductions start with Bennett, who states that the Homemaker's Forum magazine has named Arlene the "Outstanding Homemaker of the Year." Further down the line, once again, Dorothy introduces John Daly. - Suzanne (2005)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Fred Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.