Bahamian-American, Sidney Poitier, is one of the greatest actors and directors of all-time. Born on this day in Miami, Florida, Poitier moved to the Bahamas where he lived until he was 16.
His ambition and drive for the art brought him back to the U.S., where he joined the North American Negro Theatre, landing his breakthrough film role in a 1955 movie, Blackground Jungle.
Poitier, since then grew in leaps and bounds. He featured in a host of award-winning movies including, The Defiant Ones, Lilies of the Field, A Raisin in the Sun and A Patch of Blue.
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His influence in the industry, especially for people of color, was overwhelming, that it paved way for other black people to flourish in the face of discrimination.
In 1974, he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and in 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor.
His accolades include; British Academy Film Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Silver Bear for Best Actor (Berlin Film Festival), Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, Silver Bear for Best Actor (Berlin Film Festival), NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, Film Society of Lincoln Center Gala Tribute, and Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award amongst others.
He has also held some ambassadorial positions. In April 1997, Poitier was appointed ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan, a position he held until 2007. From 2002 to 2007, he was concurrently the ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO.
In commemoration of his birthday, we highlight some of his greatest movies.
1. Guess who is coming to dinner
2. In the heart of the night
3. To Sir, with love
4. The Jackal
6. Buck and the Preacher
7. Let’s Do It Again
8. Ghost Dad
9. The Lost Man
10. Hanky Panky