Sidney Poitier, whose portrayal of self-possessed, unapologetic and dignified characters in films such as To Sir With Love, In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner established him as Hollywood’s first Black box-office star and Academy Award winner for Best Actor (for Lilies in the Field), has died at 94.
Though born in Miami, FL ,Poitier grew up primarily in the Bahamas. As an adolescent he returned to the U.S., eventually making his way to New York, washing dishes as he struggled to become an actor. He soon landed theatre roles but broke through as an emerging talent primarily in film.
Breakout movie dramas like No Way Out, Blackboard Jungle and The Defiant Ones set the stage for Poitier’s superstardom. In 1959, Poitier returned to New York theater to star in the Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry‘s A Raisin in the Sun and its 1961 film adaptation.
Movies especially beloved starring Poitier were the one he also directed and produced, such as the action comedies Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do It Again, and A Piece of the Action. Poitier also scored a massive hit as director of the classic Richard Pryor 1980 comedy Stir Crazy.
To see Poitier’s extensive filmography, click here. And to see one of the most iconic film moments ever delivered by Poitier, check out the clip from In The Heat of the Night below:
In April 1997, Poitier was appointed ambassador from the Bahamas to Japan, a position he held for a decade, until 2007.He was also the author of his highly-regarded 2007 autobiography, The Measure of a Man, 2009’s Life Beyond Measure: Letters to my Great-Granddaughter and his 2013 fiction foray Montaro Caine: A Novel.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/07/movies/sidney-poitier-dead.html
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