Sidney Poitier was a African-American actor, film director, activist, and ambassador. In 1964, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, becoming the first Black male and Bahamian actor to win the award.
Legendary actor Sidney Poitier, whose 71-year career included iconic roles in the classic Hollywood films “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Uptown Saturday Night,” has died.
The actor was 94. His cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
The news was announced by Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell on Twitter.
Chester Cooper, the Bahamas deputy prime minister, told the Guardian he was “conflicted with great sadness and a sense of celebration when I learned of the passing of Sir Sidney Poitier.”
“We have lost an icon; a hero, a mentor, a fighter, a national treasure,” he added.
Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis is set to hold a press conference in tribute to the legend on Friday morning, local outlets reported.
Poitier secured his first significant film role, in the 1950 film noir No Way Out, in which he played a hospital doctor whose racist patient (played by Richard Widmark) starts a race riot. With its overt depiction of racial conflict, No Way Out was considered too controversial to be shown in southern states, but established Poitier’s trademark persona as sensitive, forbearing figure, more intelligent than the white characters around him.
Poitier was married twice: to Juanita Hardy between 1950 and 1965 (with whom he had four children), and subsequently to Joanna Shimkus in 1976 (with whom he had two more).