Sidney Poitier, the first Black man to win Best Actor Oscar, dies aged 94 on Friday.
The Hollywood star is best known for films including Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night Lilies of the Field, A Raisin in the Sun, and Uptown Saturday Night has died.
The cause of his death is yet unknown.
The news of the actor’s death was announced by the Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell.
Bahamian-American star Poitier was automatically granted US citizenship after being unexpectedly born in February 1927 in Miami.
Sidney Poitier was born — two months premature — in Miami while his farmer parents were visiting from the Bahamas. He was not expected to survive.
As being prepared Poitier moved to New York City at age 16 after living in the Bahamas for several years with his family.
In the Big Apple, he found work as a janitor at the American Negro Theater in exchange for acting lessons.
And from there, Poitier took up acting roles in plays for the next several years until his film debut in the racially charged film “No Way Out.”
He earned his first Academy Award nomination in 1959 for his work in the film titled “The Defiant Ones.” The nomination was noteworthy to America as he was the first African-American to be nominated for Best Actor.
Furthermore, that role also earned him a Golden Globe win and a BAFTA Award.
Poitier continued to break even more barriers in 1963 with his hit film “Lilies of the Field.”
The following year, Poitier became the first African American to ever win the Best Actor at the Academy Awards.
US President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to ambassador and actor Sidney Poitier during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House on August 12, 2009.
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