At the age of 94, Sidney Poitier, a trailblazing screen icon, passed away.
After his death at the age of 94, legendary actor Sidney Poitier was remembered as an “icon, a fighter, and a national treasure.”
At a time when the United States was still segregated, the actor broke down racial barriers to become a Hollywood trailblazer.
“Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomised dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together,” former US president Barack Obama wrote on Facebook.
“He also provided opportunities for a new generation of actors.”
Michelle and I send our heartfelt condolences to his family and adoring fans.”
For his 1963 film Lilies Of The Field, Poitier, who was born in Miami but raised in the Bahamas, became the first black man to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.
He was an inspiration to generations of black artists and moviegoers by bringing to life characters who struggled with racism’s injustices.
Virgil Tibbs, a police detective from In The Heat Of The Night, and To Sir, With Love’s patient teacher Mark Thackeray are two of his best-known roles.
On this side of the Atlantic, where he was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen in 1974, the performer’s influence was undiminished.
“We have lost an icon,” said Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas, where Poitier was a dual citizen.
A national treasure, a hero, a mentor, a fighter.”
Despite his sadness, Mr Cooper said he was proud of a legacy that demonstrated “those from the most humble beginnings can change the world.”
“Sir Sidney Poitier RIP He showed us how to reach for the stars,” Whoopi Goldberg wrote on Twitter.
Jeffrey Wright, star of Westworld, described him as “a landmark actor” who was “one of a kind.”
What a lovely, gracious, warm, and genuinely regal man he is.
Sir, your time has come to leave us.
“No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life,” Oscar winner Viola Davis said.
Your dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence, and sheer energy in your roles demonstrated to us that we, as Black people, matter!!!”
Poitier was a “trailblazer who will be mourned by so many for whom he opened the very doors of Hollywood,” according to Star Trek actor George Takei. The British Film Institute described him as a “legendary actor, director, and diplomat who led a life of remarkable achievements, both on screen and off.”
“Icon,” added Broadway’s Josh Gad.
Iconoclasm is a term used to describe a person who
Breaker of barriers.
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