Beloved crooner Sammy Davis Jr attempted suicide on his wedding night because racial jibes drove him mad, according to a new biography.

The MR BOJANGLES singer's former personal assistant ARTHUR SILBER JR has revealed the cabaret star's personal pain in a new memoir, SAMMY DAVIS JR: Me + MY SHADOW.

Silber claims the song-and-dance man was distraught at having to end his secret romance with actress Kim Novak after mobsters, who disapproved of the interracial match, threatened to kill him.

Sammy then wed dancer LORAY WHITE in a marriage of convenience, but drank too much at the ceremony and wailed, "Why can't I be with the woman I love?"

Silber recalls, "Sammy was putting a gun to his head. I jumped on top of him and pinned his arms as I wrestled the gun out of his hand. It was loaded.

"I twisted his arm and the gun fell to the floor."

10/06/2003 09:24