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First Black Actor To Win Oscar, Sidney Poitier Dies At 94

Iconic Hollywood actor and director Sidney Poitier has died. He was 94 years old. Poitier passed away on Thursday 6th January 2022. His death was confirmed by the office of the prime minister of the Bahamas.

First Black Actor To Win An Oscar, Sidney Poitier Dies At 94
Sidney Poitier

With a career spanning more than 50 years across stage, film, and television, the Bahamian-American Poitier memorable works include 1967 comedy “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”,  “A Raisin in the Sun”, and  “In The Heat Of The Night”.

His legacy was solidified in 1964 when he became the first Black actor and first Bahamian man to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his work in the drama “Lilies of the Field”.

First Black Actor To Win An Oscar, Sidney Poitier Dies At 94
Photo of Sidney Poiter holding his Oscar plaque

Poitier was also a political activist who attended the March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, and Harry Belafonte.

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Poitier’s first major role on screen came in the 1950 film “No Way Out”. The film led to other works, including the 1951 drama “Cry The Beloved Country” and 1955’s “Blackboard Jungle”.

In 1959, he became the first African American to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “The Defiant One”.

After a decade-long break from acting, Poitier returned to the big screen opposite Tom Berenger and Kirstie Alley in the 1988 film “Shoot to Kill”. He also went on to play Nelson Mandela in the 1997 film “Mandela and de Klerk”. His last role was in the 2001 TV movie “The Last Brickmaker in America”.

Meanwhile, over the years, Poitier garnered many accolades, including an honorary Oscar for his outstanding contributions to American cinema in 2002. Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Potier is survived by his wife Joanna Poitier; children Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Anika Poitier, Pamela Poitier, Beverly Poitier-Henderson, Sherri Poitier, and Gina Poitier; and many grandchildren.

 

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Charis Ebiaghian

A creative writer ready to dish out juicy stories as they drop. When she is not writing, she is probably thinking of what to write next