Sidney

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Sidney-01-01.png

Sidney

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Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author and diplomat.

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In 1964, Poitier became the first Bahamian and first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field.

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The significance of these achievements was bolstered in 1967, when he starred in three successful films, all of which dealt with issues involving race and race relations: To Sir, with LoveIn the Heat of the Night; and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, making him the top box-office star of that year.

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In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier among the Greatest Male Starsof classic Hollywood cinema, ranking 22nd on the list of 25.

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Poitier was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974.

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On August 12, 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.

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Poitier was the first male actor of African (Bahamian) descent to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award (for The Defiant Ones, 1958).

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He was also the first actor of African descent to win the Academy Award for Best Actor (for Lilies of the Field in 1963)

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Poitier began to be criticized for being typecast as over-idealized African American characters who were not permitted to have any sexuality or personality faults, such as his character in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.

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Poitier was aware of this pattern himself, but was conflicted on the matter. He wanted more varied roles; but he also felt obliged to set an example with his characters, by challenging old stereotypes as he was the only major actor of African descent being cast in leading roles in the American film industry, at that time.

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For instance, in 1966, he turned down an opportunity to play the lead in an NBC television production of Othello with that spirit in mind.

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#February 

 

 

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