Legendary actor Sidney Poitier, whose 71-year career included iconic roles in the classic Hollywood films “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Uptown Saturday Night,” has passed away.
Sidney Poitier was a Bahamian-American actor, film director, activist, and ambassador. He was the first Black actor and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field, where he played an itinerant worker named Homer Smith who helps a group of nuns build a chapel in rural Arizona. And would continue his groundbreaking work taking on issues of race and race relations and gain more acclaim with films like Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and A Patch of Blue (1965), To Sir, with Love (1967), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), and In the Heat of the Night (1967).
Among his many honors over his lifetime, Poitier was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II (1974), Kennedy Center Honor 1(995), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film. (2016). He was also recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the “100 Years…100 Stars,” where he ranked 22 among the male actors on the list. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for The Measure Of A Man. Poitier also received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. He was also given an Academy Honorary Award, in recognition of his “remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being.”
Sir Sidney Poitier will always be remembered as a Hollywood legend and trailblazer for the stories he told, and the work he did in his time to create the landscape we have today.
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