Flashback '99: Emmy Nominee Don Cheadle


In 1998, Don Cheadle portrayed an award-rendering role as the great entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. in the television film The Rat Pack. While he received his first Golden Globe for the performance, Cheadle still possessed doubts about his ability to capture the late Davis on the small screen.

"You know people asked me [how I captured Davis' essence]; I don't know that I did," he says to ET's former co-host Mary Hart. "I'm grateful that people saw that but he was so deep and he had so many dimensions and there were so many things going on [in his life]."

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Davis, a jazz singer and dancer, was a member of a group of actors referred to as The Rat Pack in the '60s. Also in the frequently together group were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. As most of the gang has passed on and Sinatra had recently passed away a few months before the TV film aired, a debate arose as to whether it should have been made.

"This came up a lot when we were doing it obviously and after it came out [as well]. I always say that if someone did a story of my life...I'm pretty sure there would be parts of it that I was not happy with as well and things I think they'd overlooked," Cheadle rationally conveys. "So, I wasn't surprised by it, but our spirit was never to malign or in any way make fun of these people."

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While he wasn't surprised by the onslaught of criticism from those aiming to preserve the legacy of The Rat Pack, he admits to be surprised about receiving the award, saying that he didn't expect it at all.

Cheadle may have been pleasantly surprised to receive his first Golden Globes but may have been sorrowfully surprised when he was snubbed a chance to win his second Golden Globe for Hotel Rwanda. His role on the young Netflix series House of Lies, did win Cheadle a Globe earlier this year, as well as an Emmy nomination in 2012. Now, entering his second nominations for the series, Cheadle hopes to go from a nominee to a victor on the Emmy stage.