Sidney Poitier: Hollywood Icon, First Black Man to Win Best Actor Oscar, Dies at 94

Sidney Poitier: Hollywood Icon, First Black Man to Win Best Actor Oscar, Dies at 94

  • Late Sidney Poitier won the best actor Oscar in 1964 for his depiction of an ex-serviceman who helps East German nuns build a chapel in Lilies of the Field
  • Legit.ng understands Sidney was the first Black man to win the honor and remained the only one until Denzel Washington in 2002
  • Sidney Poitier died on Thursday, January 6, at the age of 94, according to confirmed reports

Legendary Hollywood actor Sidney Poitier is dead, Legit.ng has learnt.

Sidney Poitier died at 94.
Sidney Poitier(R) was the first black actor to win an Oscar. Photo: WTOC Mike Cihla.
Source: Facebook

Top tier actor

Sidney, who was the first-ever Black man to win an Oscar Academy Award for best actor died on January, Thursday 6, at the age of 94.

According to NBC News, Sidney's death was first confirmed by the personal assistant to Frederick A. Mitchell, the minister of foreign affairs in the Bahamas, where the late actor was raised.

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Mitchell's assistant confirmed Sidney's demise but did not disclose further details such as the cause of his death.

News of Sidney's death shook the world with fellow celebrities and movie lovers across the globe taking to social media to mourn the actor.

Quite a number who condoled with Sidney's family remembered him for changing the perception of African Americans in movies with his powerful and charismatic screen presence.

Fighter for the rights of black actors

Legit.ng understands Sidney was very vocal in championing the rights of Black actors and actresses.

It should be noted the late Sidney severally rejected roles based on offensive racial stereotypes.

During his lifetime, Sidney won praises for portraying dignified, keenly intelligent men in 1960s landmarks films 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.

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The actor left a mark in the film industry, having played different important roles during his acting career that spanned decades.

Late Sidney made a name for himself as one of the finest performers in America.

He also became a major box-office draw at the height of his film career and fame.

Then, the late actor challenged audiences to accept Black performers, rather than actors in leading roles in movies and on television.

He played a major role in upending a demeaning Hollywood tradition of casting Black actors in vulgar caricature or limiting them to singing and dancing roles that could be segregated from the rest of the film and cut out when the movies ran in the South.

Nollywood's Baba Suwe passes on

Some months ago, Legit.ng reported that Nollywood actress Modupe Johnson otherwise known as Fali Werepe shared the news of actor Baba Suwe's passing on her social media page.

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The veteran actress tearfully revealed that one of the old Yoruba actors Baba Suwe kicked the bucket.

Loyal fans of the late actor took to social media to recall memories of him while mourning him.

Source: Legit.ng

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