From The Rat Pack Tribute: Michael Jackson respected Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., and was a big fan of Sammy in particular. Both Michael and Sammy stood out as singers and dancers and both had started performing on stage as young children.
Shortly before Sammy’s death in 1990, he was honored with an all-star TV special saluting his 60 years in show business. Michael was there along with Frank and Dean and many other stars. Sammy also respected Michael, and used to get a big reaction imitating Michael on stage with a little moonwalking and a trademark MJ gesture or two.
In the cast photo above from Sammy’s TV salute, he’s surrounded by stars including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn, Whitney Houston, Richard Pryor, Dionne Warwick and many others. And standing right beside Sammy is Michael.