Sidney Poitier, the famous Bahamian-American actor and first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964, has died at the age of 94.
Poitier, who won the Best Actor award for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field, is also known for his groundbreaking roles in classic Hollywood films that include the likes of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, A Raisin in the Sun, and Uptown Saturday Night.
According to The Post, the reports of the Bahamian-American actor’s death were confirmed earlier today by the Bahamas Foreign Affairs' office.
The beloved actor’s career, which is set to be the subject of an upcoming Broadway show titled Sidney, reportedly began after he and his family moved to New York City from the Bahamas when he was 16-years-old.
From there, Poitier became a janitor at the American Negro Theater – but instead of pay, he allegedly received acting lessons.
His debut film was in 1950 with No Way Out, a film that focuses on race and racial violence in post-WWII America – a theme that would act as a backdrop to many of the films Poitier would star in as his acting career progressed through the 1950’s and 60’s.
Although Poitier would go on to be the first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964, he was first nominated for the award in 1959 for his role in The Defiant Ones.
Besides a prolific acting career that stretched across nearly six decades, Poitier was also an activist – having met with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1960 and also receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in 2009 – and a writer of at least three autobiographies.
“As I entered this world, I would leave behind the nurturing of my family and my home, but in another sense, I would take their protection with me,” Poitier wrote in his 2007 book The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography.
“The lessons I had learned, the feelings of groundedness and belonging that have been woven into my character there, would be my companions on the journey.”
At this time, Poitier’s cause of death has not been disclosed.