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

Apart from his successful acting career, Sidney was also a civil rights activist. He was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in the year 2009 through former President Obama for his work.

Sydney Poitier

Oscar-winning Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier has died at the age of 94. The Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office confirmed the actor’s death to Fox News on Friday. In 1963, Poitier also made a film called Lily of the Field in Arizona. His performance in this film proved to be a major milestone, becoming the first black winner of a lead-acting Oscar for his role in the film.

All the roles that Sidney played were legends. He starred as Mark Thackeray in ‘To Sir with Love’ in 1967 and as Detective Virgil Tibbs in ‘In the Heat of the Night’. He also starred in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which released in the same year.

Anarchy spread in America in 1967

Sidney Poitier did three films simultaneously in the year 1967 and by doing so he had established a legacy of his own. Whereas at that time there was chaos in most parts of America. During this, he did the film ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ in which he played the character of a black man and whose fiancé was white. In this film, he played Virgil Tibbs, a black police officer who faces racism during a murder investigation. In the same year, he played the role of a teacher in a London school in ‘To Sir, With Love’.

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

Sydney was born in 1927

Sydney was born in 1927 to Bahamian farmers. Sydney, the youngest of seven children, was born in Miami while his family was moving there. This automatically made him entitled to US citizenship. He began his career as an actor in theater in the 1940s, before his breakthrough film role in the 1950s release No Way Out. In a career spanning five decades in films, he worked as both an actor and director. His last appearance on screen was in the 1997 film ‘Jackle’.

In addition to his 1963 Oscar win, Sydney also earned a nomination for his work in 1958’s ‘The Defiant Ones’. He also received an Honorary Academy Award in 2001. According to TMZ, Sidney is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joanna, and six daughters.

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