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Sidney Poitier death: First Black man to win Best Actor Oscar dies aged 94

Hollywood star Sidney Poitier has passed away at the age of 94.

He was most known for his roles in films such as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and Lilies of the Field, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell broke the news, sparking tributes from fans and loved ones.

After being born unexpectedly in Miami, Poitier was automatically granted citizenship. As a child, he was raised in the Bahamas but moved to the United States at the age of 15, appearing in his first film, Blackboard Jungle, in 1955.

In 1958, he was nominated for Best Actor with Tony Curtis for The Defiant Ones.

He won the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies of the Field six years later.

Poitier was more than just awards. He pushed against the stereotypes of Black males in Hollywood, even if he didn’t win any Oscars. He made history as the first Black romantic lead in a major motion picture in 1961’s “Paris Blues.” In 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” he and Katharine Houghton portrayed the first favorable depiction of an interracial marriage in a major Hollywood picture.

He was the first Black man to be voted the top box office star in Hollywood in 1968. In 1975, he starred in “The Wilby Conspiracy,” the first film to take a stand against apartheid. And for 1969’s “The Lost Man,” he required that at least half of the film crew be African-American, marking the first time this had ever been done.

In addition to acting, he also worked as a diplomat. He was appointed as the Bahamas’ ambassador to Japan in 1997 and held the position until 2007.

Poitier was married twice in his lifetime, first to Juanita Hardy from 1960-1965. He then had a nine-year affair with actress and singer Diahann Carol before marrying Canadian actor Joanna Shimkus in 1976.

He is survived by six children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


 Source: Balleralert

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