Sir Sidney Poitier, the Academy Award-winning actor from the Hollywood golden age, has died, officials said. He was 94.
- Poitier was considered Hollywood’s first Black movie star, per CNN.
- He also was the first Black man to win the best actor Oscar award.
- Poitier was given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974.
Clint Watson, press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, told CNN that Poitier died Thursday evening.
- It’s unclear how Poitier died.
Poitier was known for acting, directing and producing in Hollywood. But he was also a big voice for civil rights in 1960s, according to Business Insider.
- He was also an ambassador for the Bahamas.
- He starred in movies such as “Lilies of the Field,” “A Patch of Blue,” “To Sir, With Love,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
Poitier wrote for People magazine that he felt an obligation to inspire Black people with every movie he made.
- “I felt very much as if I were representing 15, 18 million people with every move I made,” he said.
Reactions to Poitier’s death flooded social media Friday, sharing thoughtful memories for the late actor.
Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together. He also opened doors for a generation of actors. Michelle and I send our love to his family and legion of fans. pic.twitter.com/zkYKFSxfKA— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 7, 2022
We lost an elegant King today. Thank you Sidney Poitier. For not only opening the door, but for walking in this world with endless grace and excellence, so that today, still, we follow behind you, reaching toward the example that you set. Rest In Peace and in Power. We love you. pic.twitter.com/CP2ga9KiHu— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 7, 2022