Sidney Poitier dies aged 94

Sidney Poitier has died, aged 94.

The Hollywood star was recognized for movies together with Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and Lilies of the Field, for which he turned the primary Black and Bahamian man to win a Best Actor Oscar.

The information was introduced by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell, prompting tributes from the world of entertainment.

Bahamian-American star Poitier was routinely granted US citizenship after being unexpectedly born in Miami whereas his dad and mom had been visiting in February 1927.

He grew up within the Bahamas however moved to America when he was 15, scoring his first lead movie position only one 12 months later in 1955’s Blackboard Jungle.

His first expertise of awards recognition got here with The Defiant Ones (1958), which noticed him nominated for Best Actor alongside co-star Tony Curtis.

Six years later, he traditionally received the Best Actor Oscar for his efficiency in Lilies of the Field.

Denzel Washington praised Poitier when he turned the second Black man to win Best Actor for 2001 movie Training Day, saying: “I’ll always be chasing you, Sidney. I’ll always be following in your footsteps. There’s nothing I would rather do, sir.”

At the identical ceremony, Poitier obtained an Honorary Academy Award for his contribution to American cinema. As of 2012, following the loss of life of Ernest Borgnine, Poitier turned the oldest residing Best Actor winner in historical past.

In an interview printed on Thursday (6 January), Washington informed Variety he would have liked to have starred in a movie with Poitier, who retired from appearing in 2001.

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“God bless him – he’s still here, but yeah, I missed that opportunity,” the actor mentioned.

Sidney Poitier turned the primary Black man to win a Best Actor Oscar in 1964

(Getty Images)

In 1967, Poitier starred in three movies that addressed the problem of race relations: To Sir, with Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, which was directed by Norman Jewison.

In the latter, he performed Virgil Tibbs, a black police detective from Philadelphia, who turns into concerned in a homicide investigation in a small city in Mississippi. It turned so well-known for Poitier’s line of dialogue, “They call me Mr Tibbs”, {that a} sequel named after the quote (stylised They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!) arrived in 1970.

Sidney Poitier as Mr Virgil Tibbs in 1967 movie ‘In the Heat of the Night’

(Mirisch/United Artists/Kobal/Shutterstock)

In the Eighties, he directed quite a few movies, however had probably the most success with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy Stir Crazy (1980).

His different movie credit embrace Porgy and Bess (1959), Paris Blues (1961), A Patch of Blue (1965), Sneakers (1992) andThe Jackal (1997).

The actor additionally served as a diplomat. In 1997, he was named the ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan. He remained within the place till 2007.

Poitier married twice, the primary time to Juanita Hardy from 1960 to 1965. After a nine-year affair with actor and singer Diahann Carol, Poitier married Candian actor Joanna Shimkus in 1976. They stayed collectively for the rest of his life.

Poitier is survived by six youngsters, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Sidney Poitier and Katharine (*94*) in 1967 movie ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’


He final appeared on the Oscars in 2014 to current Best Director alongside Angelina Jolie. He was given a standing ovation from these in attendance, with Holie telling him: “We are in your debt.”

An overwhelmed Poitier informed the gang to “keep up the wonderful work”.

Westworld and No Time to Die actor Jeffrey Wright led the tributes to Poitier, writing on Twitter: “Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love.”

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