Sidney Poitier, He was the first black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, and he died at the age of 94.

Sidney Poitier

Sir Sidney Poitier has died, according to the Bahamas’ Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was the first Afro – caribbean to receive an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him. The Defiant Once, Lilies of the Field in the Heat of the Night, To Sir, With Love, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? are among Poitier’s best-known works. In 2009, Poitier received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

With humble beginnings and astonishing twists of fate, Poitier’s own narrative surpasses that of any of his films. His parents, Bahamian farmers Evelyn and Reginald Poitier, were in the country to sell tomatoes when he was born two months early in Miami in 1927. His father went home with a shoebox in which to bury the baby, the last of his many siblings, because the chances of him surviving were so slim.

Sidney Poitier a Gentleman and Profound Talent

Sidney Poitier

In a tweet on Friday, Bob Iger, the former CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said Mr. Poitier was “the most dignified guy” he had “even encountered.” The actor formerly served on the board of directors of the corporation.

© Sam Falk/NYT

Philip Davis, the prime minister of the Bahamas, remembered Sidney Poitier on Friday as a “humanitarian who used his steely determination not just to better himself but to better the world that he lived in, filtered through the milk of human kindness.” Reflecting on Mr. Poitier’s death and legacy at a news conference, Mr. Davis noted that Mr. Poitier had moved from a tomato farm on Cat Island in the Bahamas to become a waiter in the United States and had taught himself to read and write.

“We admire the man, not just because of his colossal achievements, but also because of who he was, his strength of character, his willingness to stand up and be counted, and the way he plotted and navigated his life’s journey,”

Mr. Davis said. Mr. Davis said that he had ordered Bahamian flags in the country and at its embassies around the globe to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to Mr. Poitier, who at one time served as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan. “Our country is in mourning,” he said. “Sir Sidney’s light will continue to shine brightly for generations to come.”

By Neil Vigdor, New York Times – Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal in The Defiant Ones, supporting Tony Curtis, in 1959, the same year he performed on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun. They were shackled together as escaped convicts desperate to avoid capture. In the same year, Poitier played alongside Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, and Brock Peters in a star-studded rendition of the Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess. Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Anika Poitier, Beverly Poitier-Henderson, Pamela Poitier, Sherri Poitier, and Gina Poitier are his children.

Sources: BBC

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