Born in Philadelphia in 1942, Lola Falana left home as a teenager to seek her fortune in entertainment. She often slept in subway stations before finding work. She studied African dance, and her big break came when she appeared opposite Sammy Davis Jr. in "Golden Boy" on Broadway in 1964. She then toured Italy and won fame there in two Italian movies. She toured with the Tavares Brothers in the 1970s and married Feliciano "Butch" Tavares. In 1979 she became the highest-paid entertainer in Las Vegas, thus earning her the title "First Lady of Las Vegas".