“Sidney Poitier was the embodiment of Black Dignity, Black Beauty, Black Pride and Black Power” NY Times Charles M. Blow
Sidney Poitier’s family issued a statement on his death: “he is our landmark.”
“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 rich man to win an Oscar for Best Actor. He received two Oscar nominations, ten Golden Globe nominations, two Emmy nominations, six BAFTA nominations, eight Laurel nominations and one nomination for the Actors Guild (SAG).
The entire Poitiers family lived in the Bahamas, then still a British colony, but he was unexpectedly born in Miami when they were staying over the weekend, which automatically gave him U.S. citizenship. He grew up in the Bahamas, but at the age of 15 moved to Miami, and at 16 – to New York. He joined the American Negro Theater, gaining a groundbreaking role in film as a high school student in the film Blackboard Jungle (1955). In 1958, Poitiers co-starred with Tony Curtis as a fugitive convict in the film “Indecent”, which received nine Oscar nominations. Both actors were nominated for Best Actor, with Poitiers becoming the first black actor to be nominated for the BAFTA Award, which Poitiers received. In 1964, he won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in The Field Lilies (1963), playing a handyman who helped a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel.
Poitiers was also recognized for the films Porgy and the Devil (1959), Raisin in the Sun (1961) and The Blue Plot (1965). He continued to make his way into three successful 1967 films that addressed issues of race and racial relations: “Sir with Love”; Guess who will come to dinner, and in the middle of the night. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and the British Film Academy Award for his role in the latest film, and in a poll the following year was named the highest-ranked US star. Beginning in the 1970s, Poitiers also directed a variety of comedy films, including Crazy Movement (1980), among others films starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. After nearly a decade of acting, he returned to television and film, starring in Shoot to Kill (1988) and Sneakers (1992).
Poitiers was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Award. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamas Ambassador to Japan. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2016, he was awarded a BAFTA scholarship for outstanding achievements in film. In 1999, he was ranked 22nd among male actors in the American Film Institute’s “100 Years … 100 Stars” list. In 2001, he won a Grammy Award for Best Album with a Spoken Word. In 1982, he received the Cecil B. Demil Award for the Golden Globe, and in 2000, the Actors Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2002, he was awarded the Honorary Prize of the Academy in recognition of his “outstanding achievements as an artist and a man.” Wikipedia
Credit photo United Artists: in the middle of the night
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