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Actor Sidney Poitier passes away at age 94


Kimberley

Actor Sidney Poitier passes away at age 94
Sidney Poitier (Reuters)

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Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win a best actor Oscar, has died at 94.

The Hollywood star’s death was confirmed to the BBC by the office of Fred Mitchell, The Bahamas’ Minister Of Foreign Affairs.

Sidney Poitier was born on February 20, 1927 in Miami, Florida.

Poitier was a trailblazing actor and a respected humanitarian and diplomat. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Lilies Of The Field in 1963.

He grew up both in the United States (US) and Bahamas and became a star of the stage and screen.

His appearance in The Defiant Ones in 1958 earned him his first Oscar nomination.

The actor was a regular on the big screen at a time of racial segregation in the US, appearing in a Patch Of Blue in 1965, and then Heat Of The Night the year after, followed by Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, playing a black man with a white fiancée.

He went on to direct a raft of films, and a Broadway play about life and career was announced last month.

Poitier married Juanita Hardy in 1950, but the union ended in 1965. In 1976, he married the Canadian actress, Joanna Shimkus, and had six daughters from his two marriages. His daughter, Sydney Tamiia Poitier is also an actress. (BBC)