Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier

Known for: Acting
Birthday: 1927-02-20
Deathday: 2022-01-07 (94 years old)
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Biography

Sidney Poitier ( PWAH-tyay; February 20, 1927 – January 6, 2022) was a Bahamian and American actor, film director, and diplomat. In 1964, he was the first African American actor and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He received two competitive Golden Globe Awards, a competitive British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA), and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Poitier was one of the last major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. Poitier's family lived in the Bahamas, then still a Crown colony, but he was born unexpectedly in Miami, Florida, while they were visiting, which automatically granted him U.S. citizenship. He grew up in the Bahamas, but moved to Miami at age 15, and to New York City when he was 16. He joined the American Negro Theatre, landing his breakthrough film role as a high school student in the film Blackboard Jungle (1955). In 1958, Poitier starred with Tony Curtis as chained-together escaped convicts in The Defiant Ones, which received nine Academy Award nominations; both actors received nominations for Best Actor, with Poitier's being the first for a Black actor. They both also had Best Actor nominations for the BAFTAs, with Poitier winning. Additionally Poitier won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for his performance in the film. In 1964, he won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field (1963), playing a handyman helping a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel.Poitier also received acclaim for Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and A Patch of Blue (1965), because of his strong roles as epic African American male characters. He continued to break ground in three successful 1967 films which dealt with issues of race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night, the latter of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture for that year. He received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for his performance in the last film, and in a poll the next year he was voted the US's top box-office star. Beginning in the 1970s, Poitier also directed various comedy films, including Stir Crazy (1980), starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, among other films. After nearly a decade away from acting, he returned to television and film starring in Shoot to Kill (1988) and Sneakers (1992). Poitier was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1982, he received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honor. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan. In 1999, he ranked 22nd among male actors on the "100 Years...100 Stars" list by the American Film Institute and received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2002, he was given an Honorary Academy Award, in recognition of his "remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being". In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President Barack Obama. In 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film.

Personal Life

Poitier was first married to Juanita Hardy from April 29, 1950, until 1965. Though Poitier became a resident of Mount Vernon in Westchester County, New York in 1956, they raised their family in Stuyvesant, New York, in a house on the Hudson River. In 1959, Poitier began a nine-year affair with actress Diahann Carroll. He married Joanna Shimkus, a Canadian actress who starred with Poitier in The Lost Man in 1969, on January 23, 1976, and they remained married until his death. He had four daughters with his first wife (Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, and Gina) and two with his second (Anika and Sydney Tamiia). In addition to his six daughters, Poitier had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in September 2019, Poitier's family had 23 missing relatives.

Early Life

Poitier was born on February 20, 1927, in Miami, Florida. He was the youngest of seven children born to Evelyn (née Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, Afro-Bahamian farmers who owned a farm on Cat Island. The family would travel to Miami to sell tomatoes and other produce to wholesalers. His father also worked as a cab driver in Nassau. Poitier was born unexpectedly in Miami while his parents were on business; his birth was three months premature, and he was not expected to survive, but his parents remained in Miami for three months to nurse him to health. Poitier grew up in the Bahamas, then a British Crown colony. His birth in the United States entitled him to US citizenship.Some believe that the Poitier ancestors had migrated from Haiti, and were probably among the runaway slaves who established maroon communities throughout the Bahamas, including Cat Island. Poitier was originally a French name, and there were then no Poitiers of French ancestry nearby in the Bahamas. However, there had been a Poitier of French ancestry on Cat Island—the name came from planter Charles Leonard Poitier, who had immigrated from Jamaica in the early 1800s. In 1834, his wife's estate on Cat Island had 86 slaves of West African origin who kept the name Poitier, a name that had been introduced into the Anglosphere since the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century. Charles Leonard Poitier might have been from Haiti originally but had lived in Jamaica previously. Sidney Poitier lived with his family on Cat Island until he was ten, when they moved to Nassau. There he was exposed to the modern world, where he saw his first automobile and first experienced electricity, plumbing, refrigeration, and motion pictures. He was raised Catholic but later became an agnostic with views closer to deism.At age fifteen, he was sent to Miami to live with his brother's large family, but Poitier found it impossible to adjust to the racism in Jim Crow era Florida. At sixteen, he moved to New York City, looking to become an actor, holding a string of jobs as a dishwasher in the meantime. After failing his first audition with the American Negro Theatre due to his inability to fluently read the script, an elderly Jewish waiter sat with him every night for several weeks, helping him to improve his reading by using the newspaper. During World War II, in November 1943, he lied about his age and enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to a Veteran's Administration hospital in Northport, New York, and was trained to work with psychiatric patients. Poitier became upset with how the hospital treated its patients and feigned mental illness to obtain a discharge. Poitier confessed to a psychiatrist that he was faking his condition, but the doctor was sympathetic and granted his discharge under Section VIII of Army regulation 615–360 in December 1944.After leaving the Army, he worked as a dishwasher until a successful audition landed him a role in an American Negro Theatre production, the same company he failed his first audition with.

Filmography

All 87

Movies 78

Self 19

TV shows 9

Director 4

Narrator 3

Self
Sidney (2022)

Sidney (2022)

Movie
Self
Wolfgang (2021)

Wolfgang (2021)

Movie
Himself (archive footage)
Poitier's Walter Lee (2018)

Poitier's Walter Lee (2018)

Movie
Self
Mr. SOUL! (2018)

Mr. SOUL! (2018)

Movie
Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart (2017)

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart (2017)

Movie
Various Roles (archive footage)
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)

I Am Not Your Negro (2017)

Movie
Himself
The Madding Crowd (2017)

The Madding Crowd (2017)

Movie
Self (archive footage)
And the Oscar Goes To... (2014)

And the Oscar Goes To... (2014)

Movie
Self
Moms Mabley (2013)

Moms Mabley (2013)

Movie
Self
Martin Luther King and the March on Washington (2013)

Martin Luther King and the March on Washington (2013)

Movie
Self
Sing Your Song (2012)

Sing Your Song (2012)

Movie
Self
Oprah's Master Class (2011)

Oprah's Master Class (2011)

TV show
Himself
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)

Movie
Actor
Quincy Jones: In the Pocket (2001)

Quincy Jones: In the Pocket (2001)

Movie
Henry Cobb
The Last Brickmaker in America (2001)

The Last Brickmaker in America (2001)

Movie
Narrator
Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey (2001)

Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey (2001)

Movie
Self
Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters (2000)

Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters (2000)

Movie
Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000)

Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000)

Movie
Reverend Msimangu (archive footage)
Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist (2000)

Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist (2000)

Movie
Noah Dearborn
The Simple Life Of Noah Dearborn (1999)

The Simple Life Of Noah Dearborn (1999)

Movie
Will Cleamons
Free of Eden (1999)

Free of Eden (1999)

Movie
Dr. Jack Miller
David and Lisa (1998)

David and Lisa (1998)

Movie
Preston
The Jackal (1997)

The Jackal (1997)

Movie
5.67
Nelson Mandela
Mandela and de Klerk (1997)

Mandela and de Klerk (1997)

Movie
Himself (archive footage)
Afro Promo (1997)

Afro Promo (1997)

Movie
Mark Thackeray
To Sir, with Love II (1996)

To Sir, with Love II (1996)

Movie
Gypsy Smith
Children of the Dust (1995)

Children of the Dust (1995)

TV show
Crease
Sneakers (1992)

Sneakers (1992)

Movie
3.33
Thurgood Marshall
Separate But Equal (1991)

Separate But Equal (1991)

Movie
Thurgood Marshall
Separate but Equal (1991)

Separate but Equal (1991)

TV show
Director
Ghost Dad (1990)

Ghost Dad (1990)

Movie
Roy Parmenter
Little Nikita (1988)

Little Nikita (1988)

Movie
Warren Stantin
Shoot to Kill (1988)

Shoot to Kill (1988)

Movie
6
Himself
The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn (1986)

The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn (1986)

Movie
Director
Fast Forward (1985)

Fast Forward (1985)

Movie
Director
Hanky Panky (1982)

Hanky Panky (1982)

Movie
Director
Stir Crazy (1980)

Stir Crazy (1980)

Movie
5.09
Narrator
Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979)

Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979)

Movie
The Kennedy Center Honors (1978)

The Kennedy Center Honors (1978)

TV show
Manny Durrell
A Piece of the Action (1977)

A Piece of the Action (1977)

Movie
Clyde Williams
Let's Do It Again (1975)

Let's Do It Again (1975)

Movie
Shack Twala
The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)

The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)

Movie
Steve Jackson
Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

Movie
Dr. Matt Younger
A Warm December (1973)

A Warm December (1973)

Movie
Self
The American Film Institute Salute to ... (1973)

The American Film Institute Salute to ... (1973)

TV show
Narrator
Nationtime (1972)

Nationtime (1972)

Movie
Buck
Buck and the Preacher (1972)

Buck and the Preacher (1972)

Movie
Virgil Tibbs
The Organization (1971)

The Organization (1971)

Movie
4.89
John Kane
Brother John (1971)

Brother John (1971)

Movie
Virgil Tibbs
They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970)

They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970)

Movie
3.75
Jason Higgs
The Lost Man (1969)

The Lost Man (1969)

Movie
Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed (1968)

Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed (1968)

Movie
Jack Parks
For Love of Ivy (1968)

For Love of Ivy (1968)

Movie
Self - Guest
The Dick Cavett Show (1968)

The Dick Cavett Show (1968)

TV show
John Prentice
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Movie
4.67
Det. Virgil Tibbs
In the Heat of the Night (1967)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Movie
5.08
Mark Thackeray
To Sir, with Love (1967)

To Sir, with Love (1967)

Movie
Toller
Duel at Diablo (1966)

Duel at Diablo (1966)

Movie
The Strolling '20s (1966)

The Strolling '20s (1966)

Movie
Alan Newell
The Slender Thread (1965)

The Slender Thread (1965)

Movie
Gordon Ralfe
A Patch of Blue (1965)

A Patch of Blue (1965)

Movie
Ben Munceford
The Bedford Incident (1965)

The Bedford Incident (1965)

Movie
4
Simon of Cyrene
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

Movie
Self
A Cinderella Named Elizabeth (1965)

A Cinderella Named Elizabeth (1965)

Movie
Aly Mansuh
The Long Ships (1964)

The Long Ships (1964)

Movie
Homer Smith
Lilies of the Field (1963)

Lilies of the Field (1963)

Movie
6
Doctor
Pressure Point (1962)

Pressure Point (1962)

Movie
Eddie Cook
Paris Blues (1961)

Paris Blues (1961)

Movie
Walter Lee Younger
A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Movie
Sgt. Eddie Towler
All the Young Men (1960)

All the Young Men (1960)

Movie
Marcus
Virgin Island (1959)

Virgin Island (1959)

Movie
Porgy
Porgy and Bess (1959)

Porgy and Bess (1959)

Movie
Noah Cullen
The Defiant Ones (1958)

The Defiant Ones (1958)

Movie
2
Obam
The Mark of the Hawk (1957)

The Mark of the Hawk (1957)

Movie
Rau-Ru
Band of Angels (1957)

Band of Angels (1957)

Movie
Kimani Wa Karanja
Something of Value (1957)

Something of Value (1957)

Movie
Tommy Tyler
Edge of the City (1957)

Edge of the City (1957)

Movie
Gates Watson
Good-bye, My Lady (1956)

Good-bye, My Lady (1956)

Movie
Self - Presenter
Tony Awards (1956)

Tony Awards (1956)

TV show
Tommy Tyler
A Man Is Ten Feet Tall (1955)

A Man Is Ten Feet Tall (1955)

Movie
Gregory W. Miller
Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Movie
Inman Jackson
Go Man Go (1954)

Go Man Go (1954)

Movie
Self
The Oscars (1953)

The Oscars (1953)

TV show
Robertson
The Red Ball Express (1952)

The Red Ball Express (1952)

Movie
Reverend Msimangu
Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

Movie
Dr. Luther Brooks
No Way Out (1950)

No Way Out (1950)

Movie
The Philco Television Playhouse (1948)

The Philco Television Playhouse (1948)

TV show

Ratings

Average 6.2
Based on 491 Thousand movie and tv ratings over time
1948
1964
1973
1965
2021
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier

Information

Known for
Acting

Gender
Male

Birthday
1927-02-20

Deathday
2022-01-07 (94 years old)

Place of birth
Cat Island, The Bahamas

Religion
deism

Height
1.89-metre, 1.89-meter

Relationships
Juanita Hardy (1950-01-01 - 1965-01-01)

Spouse
Joanna Shimkus

Children
Sydney Tamiia Poitier

Citizenships
The Bahamas, United States of America

Also known as
Sir Sidney Poitier, Сидней Пуатье, Сидни Пуатье

Awards
honorary doctor of the University of Miami, AAAS Fellow, star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Paul Robeson Award, NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, Henrietta Award, Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Marian Anderson Award, Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, Spingarn Medal, Kennedy Center Honors, Academy Fellowship Award, Academy Honorary Award, Silver Bear, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, AFI Life Achievement Award, Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, Silver Shell for Best Actor, Academy Award for Best Actor, Presidential Medal of Freedom

This article uses material from Wikipedia.
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Stanley Kramer worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
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4 Movies
2 TV shows
James Baldwin
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James Baldwin worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
1 TV shows
Joanne Woodward
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Joanne Woodward worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
2 TV shows
Katharine Hepburn
Sidney Poitier
Katharine Hepburn worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
2 TV shows
Paul Newman
Sidney Poitier
Paul Newman worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
2 TV shows
Shelley Winters
Sidney Poitier
Shelley Winters worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
2 TV shows
Lee Grant
Sidney Poitier
Lee Grant worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
2 TV shows
Richard Kiley
Sidney Poitier
Richard Kiley worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
3 TV shows
Alfred Sweeney
Sidney Poitier
Alfred Sweeney worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Richard Wesley
Sidney Poitier
Richard Wesley worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Robert Alan Aurthur
Sidney Poitier
Robert Alan Aurthur worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Tom Scott
Sidney Poitier
Tom Scott worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Pandro S. Berman
Sidney Poitier
Pandro S. Berman worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Ivan Dixon
Sidney Poitier
Ivan Dixon worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Spencer Tracy
Sidney Poitier
Spencer Tracy worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Burt Lancaster
Sidney Poitier
Burt Lancaster worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
2 TV shows
Richard Pryor
Sidney Poitier
Richard Pryor worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Peter Falk
Sidney Poitier
Peter Falk worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
2 TV shows
Louis Gossett Jr.
Sidney Poitier
Louis Gossett Jr. worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Charlton Heston
Sidney Poitier
Charlton Heston worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
1 TV shows
Roy Glenn
Sidney Poitier
Roy Glenn worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
4 Movies
Angela Lansbury
Sidney Poitier
Angela Lansbury worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
2 TV shows
Whoopi Goldberg
Sidney Poitier
Whoopi Goldberg worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
1 TV shows
Michael Caine
Sidney Poitier
Michael Caine worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
2 TV shows
Marlon Brando
Sidney Poitier
Marlon Brando worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
1 TV shows
Sidney Ray Baldwin
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Ray Baldwin worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
Joel Glickman
Sidney Poitier
Joel Glickman worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
David Susskind
Sidney Poitier
David Susskind worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Paul Harris
Sidney Poitier
Paul Harris worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
Frederick O'Neal
Sidney Poitier
Frederick O'Neal worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Sidney Poitier
Joseph L. Mankiewicz worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Sydney Pollack
Sidney Poitier
Sydney Pollack worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Katharine Houghton
Sidney Poitier
Katharine Houghton worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
John Wayne
Sidney Poitier
John Wayne worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
Ossie Davis
Sidney Poitier
Ossie Davis worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
3 Movies
Debbie Reynolds
Sidney Poitier
Debbie Reynolds worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Dick Cavett
Sidney Poitier
Dick Cavett worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
John Crawford
Sidney Poitier
John Crawford worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Joan Rivers
Sidney Poitier
Joan Rivers worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Lee Marvin
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Lee Marvin worked together with Sidney Poitier in:
2 Movies
1 TV shows
Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Biography
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