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Lifetime Legacy: Sidney Poitier, a Trailblazer in Film and the First Black Man to Win Best Actor.

A legacy on and offscreen the Bahamian-American actor, film director, activist, ambassador and transcending visionary Sidney Poitier, dies at age 94. Leaving behind a legacy that changed black roles, opportunities and representation in TV and film.

Credit: Alamy

The first black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1963 for his role in Lilies of the Field . Poitier forever changed the way African Americans would be depicted on the big screen.

“I never had an occasion to question color, therefore, I only saw myself as what I was... a human being.”

- Sidney Poitier

Born 3 months premature in Miami, Florida 1927 Sidney spent most of his childhood in the Bahamas. Later, moving back to Florida to live with his brother then moving to New York City to pursue a career in acting. After being rejected from his first theater audition at the American Negro Theater due to his heavy accent and difficulty reading, he took a job as a dishwasher and worked hard to shake his accent by listening to the radio while a coworker helped him with his reading. Through his determination and dedication 6 months later he landed a role at the very same theater. Poitier made his film debut in No Way Out (1950) giving him critically acclaimed recognition and earning more lucrative offers than most Black actors received at that time. He would go on to receive 28 award wins and 48 nominations for his work on and off stage Throughout his career he sought roles that portrayed blacks in a sophisticated and dignified way. Sidney Poitier's impact in cinema will never be forgotten, we celebrate his legacy.


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