Sidney Poitier, first black man to win Best Actor Oscar, dies at 94

Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964, has died at the age of 94.
Oscar winner Sidney Poitier has died at the age of 94, the Bahamian government has confirmed.
Oscar winner Sidney Poitier has died at the age of 94, the Bahamian government has confirmed.
Published on Jan 07, 2022 09:55 PM IST
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Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier, who was an Academy Award winner, has died at the age of 94.

The star's death was confirmed to Fox News on Friday by the Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office. In 1963, Poitier had made a film in Arizona, Lilies of the Field. The performance led to a huge milestone making him the first black winner of a lead-acting Oscar.

Sidney's roles were legendary. He starred as Mark Thackeray in To Sir With Love, and Detective Virgil Tibbs in In the Heat of the Night in 1967. He also starred in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, also released in the same.

Apart from his successful acting career, Sidney was also a tireless civil rights activist. He was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Obama for his work. A dual citizen of the US and the Bahamas, he served from 1997-2007 as Bahamian Ambassador to Japan.

Sidney was born to Bahamian farmers in 1927. The youngest of seven children, he was born in Miami when his family was visiting there. This automatically entitled him to a US citizenship.

He started his career as an actor in theatre in the 1940s before his breakthrough film role in the 1950 release No Way Out. Over a five-decade career in films, he worked both as an actor and director. His last appearance on screen was in the 1997 film Jackal.

Also read: Betty White, ‘first lady of television’, dies days ahead of her 100th birthday

Apart from his 1963 Oscar win, Sidney also earned a nomination for his work in The Defiant Ones in 1958. He also received an honorary Academy Award in 2001.

As per TMZ, Sidney is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joanna and six daughters.

 

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022