Photo: EPA / PAUL BUCK / EFE
Sidney Poitier He died this January 7 at the age of 94. His groundbreaking acting work in the 1950s and 1960s paved the way for generations of African American movie stars.
Poitier’s death was confirmed by Fred Mitchell’s office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas.
The cause of his sudden passing is still unknown and it is also unclear if he had faced health problems, but tributes began pouring in immediately after the news.
Actor Jeffrey Wright praised Poitier as “one of a kind”: “What an iconic actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, kind, warm and genuinely real man, “Wright wrote on Twitter.
Whoopi Goldberg posted: “He showed us how to reach for the stars.” Tyler Perry on Instagram wrote: “The grace and class that this man has shown throughout his life, the example he set me, not just as a black man but as a human being, will never be forgotten.” And musician Lenny Kravitz wrote that Poitier “showed the world that with vision and grace, anything is possible.”
“We were all fortunate to share a culture with Sidney Poitier and to benefit from his hand in shaping it,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.
Sidney Poitier was a pioneering actor, diplomat and respected humanitarian. His appearance in ‘The Defiant Ones’, in 1958, earned him his first Oscar nomination, but not it was until 1963 for ‘Lilies of the Field’ that he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. The first Afro-descendant man to earn that honor.
In 2002, he received an honorary Oscar “in recognition of his remarkable achievements as an artist and as a human.”
Born on February 20, 1927, in Miami, he grew up in both the United States and the Bahamas and became a star of the stage and screen.
He became known for his acclaimed performances in American plays, in which he challenged racial stereotypes. In this way he gave great credibility to black actors in the Western world. Before Poitier, Hollywood filmmakers rarely tried to tell the story of a black person.
In a groundbreaking film career that spanned decades He also directed nine films, many of them comedies: ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ it is probably the best known.
He was a tireless civil rights activist. Former President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for his work.
Rest in Peace, Sidney Poitier 🕊 (1927-2022)
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Sidney Poitier dies at 94: the first African-American to win the Oscar for Best Actor