Sidney Poitier has died at the age of 94, Bahamian official says | Ents & Arts News


Legendary Hollywood actor and first black man to win an Oscar, Sir Sidney Poitier, has died at the age of 94, a Bahamian government official has said.

In 1964, he made history by clinching the Academy of Motion Pictures statuette for his work in Lilies of the Field, and went on to appear in dozens of films and television shows.

The actor had three box offices hits with In the Heat of the Night, To Sir, with Love and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Sidney Poitier. Pic: Snap/Shutterstock
Sidney Poitier with his Oscar in 1964. Pic: Snap/Shutterstock

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. Pic: Moviestore/Shutterstock
Sir Sidney in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. Pic: Moviestore/Shutterstock

In the film In the Heat of the Night he delivered the iconic line: “They call me Mister Tibbs”.

He also directed a number of projects.

As well as being a decorated actor, he was also an international diplomat, serving as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan in between 1997 and 2007, and to UNESCO between 2002 and 2007.

He was knighted in 1974 and then in 2009, he was given the highest civilian honour in the US, the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, by President Barack Obama.

Star Trek actor George Takei was among the first to pay tribute to Sir Sidney, tweeting: “The star of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and Lilies of the Field, for which he won Best Actor, was a trailblazer who will be mourned by so many for whom he opened the very doors of Hollywood.”

Sir Sidney’s cause of death has not yet been announced.


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