“Sydney Poitiers were a symbol of black dignity, black beauty, black pride and black power” by the NY Times “Charles M. Blow”
The family of Sidney Poitier issued a statement on his death: “He is our guiding light.”
Sidney L. Poitier KBE, February 20, 1927 – January 6, 2022, RIP Sidney Poitier was a Bahamian-American actor, film director, activist, and ambassador. In 1964, he was the first black man and the first Bahamian to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. She has received two Academy Award nominations, ten Golden Globe nominations, two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, six BAFTA nominations, eight Laurel nominations and one Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) nomination.
Poitier’s entire family lived in the Bahamas, still a British colony, but he was unexpectedly born in Miami when they went on weekends, which automatically granted him U.S. citizenship. He grew up in the Bahamas, but moved to Miami at the age of 15 and to New York City at the age of 16. He joined the American Negro Theater, playing his groundbreaking film role as a high school student in the film Blackboard Jungle (1955). . In 1958, Poitier co-starred with Tony Curtis in The Defendant of Fugitive Criminals, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards. Both actors were nominated for Best Actor, with Poitier being the first for a black actor, as well as being nominated for a BAFTA, which Poitier won. In 1964, he won the Academy Award for Lilies of the Field (1963) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role as a handman in helping a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel.
Poitier also received accolades for Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and A Patch of Blue (1965). He broke ground in three successful 1967 films dealing with issues of race and caste relations: to Sir, with love; Guess who’s coming to dinner and in the heat of the night. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and a British Academy Film Award for her performance in the last film, and was voted America’s top box-office star in a poll the following year. In the early 1970s, Poitier directed a number of comedy films, including Steer Crazy (1980), starring Richard Pryor and Jean Wilder, among others. After nearly a decade away from acting, he returned to television and film, starring in Shoot to Kill (1988) and Sneakers (1992).
Photo Credit Almi
Poitier was knighted in 1974 by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honor. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian ambassador to Japan. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. In 2016, he received a BAFTA Fellowship for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Film. In 1999, he was ranked 22nd among male actors on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years … 100 Stars” list. He won a Grammy Award in 2001 for Best Spoken Word Album. In 1982, he won the Golden Globe Cecil B. Dimil received the award and in 2000 he received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary Academy Award in recognition of his “extraordinary achievements as an artist and as a human being.” Wikipedia
Photo credit to United Artists: In the Heat of the Night