One of the last surviving symbols of Hollywood's Golden Age died at 94.
Sidney Poitier, a Hollywood pioneer and the first Black man to win a competitive Academy Award, made his career portraying Black excellence at a time when stereotypes and bias proliferated in the film industry. He made himself into a household name with roles in classics like "To Sir, With Love," and "In the Heat of the Night."
Poitier took a turn at directing in the '70s, first with "Buck and the Preacher" in 1972, returned to acting briefly in the late 80s, then retired from film, later serving as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2007.
He died on January 7, 2022.
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Actor Sidney Poitier, the first Black male Oscar winner and an icon of the golden age of Hollywood, died at the age of 94 on Jan. 6, 2022.
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Tony Curtis, left, plays John Jackson alongside Sidney Poitiers Noah Cullen (right), in “The Defiant Ones,” 1958. The film was a breakthrough for both Curtis and Poitier, and got both on the nominated list for best actor at the Academy Awards.
Sidney Poitier in a scene from the movie, “Lilies of the Field,” 1963.
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Sidney Poitier holds his Oscar for “Best Actor” for his role in “Lilies of the Field,” 1964. He became the first Black man in history to win an Academy Award.
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From left: actors Judy Geeson, Adrienne Posta, Sidney Poitier and Lulu on the set of the drama film “To Sir, With Love,” June 15, 1966.
Actor Sidney Poitier as seen in this March 1966 portrait.
Elizabeth Hartman and Sidney Poitier sharing a laugh in the supermarket in a scene from the film "A Patch Of Blue," 1965.
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Sidney Poitier, Roy E Glenn, Beah Richards and Katherine Houghton seen in a scene from the film “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner,” 1967. The film was one of few that depicted interracial marriage favorably despite interracial marriage being illegal in several states at the time.
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Sidney Poitier walks down an aisle of students raising their hands in a high school classroom in a still from the film “To Sir, with Love” directed by James Clavell, 1967. “To Sir, With Love” would become one of Poitier’s best known works.
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Sidney Poitier as police detective Virgil Tibbs and Lee Grant as Leslie Colbert in the 1967 film “In the Heat of the Night.” The film became one of Poitiers best known works.
Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier seen in the 1972 Western, “Buck and the Preacher.” The work was Poitier’s first try at directing.
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Actor Sidney Poitier, center, with sisters Dolores, left, and Ruby at a tribute to him at the Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, New York, March 1, 1989.
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Joanna Shimkus, left, Sidney Poitier, far right, and their daughters attend the 1989 United Negro College Fund Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States.
From left: Sidney Poitier, presenter of the Academy Award for “Best Picture,” poses with winners Alan Ladd JR., Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey at the 68th Academy Awards, March 25, 1996.
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Sidney Poitier, center, is welcomed by the Imperial Palace’s master of ceremony Noriaki Ohwada, right, on April 16, 1997. Poitier presented his credentials to Emperor Akihito to assume his new title of the Bahamas’ Ambassador to Japan.
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Sidney Poitier, Joanna Shimkus and their family attend the 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild of America Awards on March 12, 2000, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
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Sidney Poitier, Joanna Shimkus and their daughters attend the 74th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, March 24, 2002.
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Former President Barack Obama, right, presents the Medal of Freedom to Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 12, 2009, in Washington, D.C.