Sidney L. Poitier, a Bahamian-American actor, film director, activist, and ambassador, took his last breath on January 6, 2022. He was 92 and was the first black person and first Bahamian who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964. He worked in films like No Way Out, Lilies of the Field, and the Heat of the Night and paved the way for minority actors and actresses everywhere.
Poitier busted racial barricades in Hollywood. His role in The Defiant Ones in 1958 achieved him his first Oscar nomination – it was a historic achievement for a black man in a leading category at the time. At the time, Poitier was counted as one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. often found himself in qualifying, saintly roles that were eye-opening in Hollywood.
Poitier, who won an Academy Award in 1963 for the film Lilies of the Field, was the first Black performer to win in the best-actor category, which increased to importance when the civil rights movement was commencing to make progress in the United States. His roles were overlooked to reflect the peaceful integrationist goals of the struggle and were a great motivation.
Many actors paid respect to the late actor on social media.
Viola Davis, the first black American to win an Oscar, wrote on Twitter: “This is a big one. No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life.”
This is a big one. No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life. The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we, as Black folks, mattered!!! It was an honor… https://t.co/xaPAjAlRtR pic.twitter.com/aqOmRqq7SN
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 7, 2022
Warmann said that Poitier “tackled racism head-on” in his work but was also “so versatile”.
The Oscar-winning director Spike Lee posted on Instagram to celebrate Poitier’s inheritance, naming him “A Proud, Dignified, Handsome And Strong Black Man That We See In Our Communities All The Time But Now Burst And Burnt Through The Silver Screens Of Hollywood”.
Achievements of Sidney Poitier
The versatile actor received several accolades for his brilliant work. He won The Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964, The AFI Life Achievement Award in 1992, NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award in 2001, The BAFTA Fellowship in 2016, The Academy Honorary Award in 2002, Golden Globe Award Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1982 and The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1964.
This is not all. He also won The Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2000, The Kennedy Center Honors 1995, The Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2001, Golden Globe Awards 1969, NAACP Image Awards for outstanding in a motion in 1976, BAFTA Award for Best Actor 1959 and Coretta Scott King Award for Authors in 1981.