Sidney Poitier has passed away at the age of 94.
The Hollywood star was known for films that included Guess who’s coming to dinner, In the heat of the night Y Lilies of the field, making him the first black and Bahamian man to win an Oscar for Best Actor.
The news was announced by Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, prompting tributes from the entertainment world.
Bahamian-American star Poitier was automatically granted U.S. citizenship after he was unexpectedly born in Miami while his parents were visiting in February 1927.
He grew up in the Bahamas, but moved to the United States when he was 15 years old, landing his first lead role in a movie just a year later, in the 1955s. Slate jungle.
His first award recognition experience came with The challengers (1958), which saw him nominated for Best Actor alongside his co-star Tony Curtis.
Six years later, he historically won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Lilies of the field.
Denzel Washington praised Poitier when he became the second black man to win the Best Actor award for a 2001 film. Training Day, saying, “I will always haunt you, Sidney. I will always be following your steps. There’s nothing I’d rather do, sir. “
At the same ceremony, Poitier received an Honorary Academy Award for his contribution to American cinema. Starting in 2012, following the death of Ernest Borgnine, Poitier became the oldest living Best Actor winner in history.
In an interview published Thursday (January 6), Washington said Variety He would have loved to have starred in a movie with Poitier, who retired from acting in 2001.
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“God bless him, he’s still here, but yeah, I missed that opportunity,” said the actor.
In 1967, Poitier starred in three films that addressed the issue of race relations: For the lord, with love, Guess who’s coming to dinner Y In the heat of the night, which was directed by Norman Jewison.
In the latter, he played Virgil Tibbs, a black Philadelphia police detective who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a small Mississippi town. He became so well known for Poitier’s line of dialogue, “They call me Mr Tibbs”, that a sequel is named after the quote (stylized They call me Mr. Tibbs!) arrived in 1970.
In the 1980s, he directed numerous films, but had the greatest success with the Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy. Go mad (1980).
His other film credits include Porgy and Bess (1959), Paris blues (1961), A patch of blue (1965), Shoes (1992) andThe jackal (1997).
The actor also served as a diplomat. In 1997, he was appointed Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan. He remained in office until 2007.
Poitier was married twice, the first time to Juanita Hardy from 1960 to 1965. After a nine-year affair with actor and singer Diahann Carol, Poitier married Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus in 1976. They remained together for the remainder of his life.
Poitier is survived by six children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He last appeared at the Oscars in 2014 to present Best Director alongside Angelina Jolie. He received a standing ovation from the audience, and Holie said, “We are in your debt.”
An overwhelmed Poitier told the crowd to “keep up the wonderful work.”
Westworld Y No time to die Actor Jeffrey Wright led the Poitier tributes, writing on Twitter: “Sidney Poitier. What an iconic actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, kind, warm and genuinely regal man. RIP, sir. With love.”