Poitier, Sidney

Poitier, Sidney
born Feb. 20, 1927?, Miami, Fla., U.S.

U.S. actor.

He was raised in The Bahamas, then studied and acted with the American Negro Theatre in New York City. He made his film debut in No Way Out (1950) and gave notable performances in Blackboard Jungle (1955) and The Defiant Ones (1958). He won acclaim on Broadway for his role in A Raisin in the Sun (1959). He became the first African American actor to win an Academy Award, for his role in Lilies of the Field (1963). He used his critical and commercial success to push for integrated film crews. He went on to star in notable films such as In the Heat of the Night (1967), To Sir with Love (1967), and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). He also directed several films, including Buck and the Preacher (1972), Let's Do It Again (1975), and Stir Crazy (1980). In 1997 he was appointed The Bahamian ambassador to Japan.

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▪ Bahamanian-American actor
born February 20, 1927?, , Miami, Florida, U.S.

      Bahamian American actor and motion-picture director and producer. Poitier is recognized as the actor who broke the colour barrier in the U.S. motion-picture industry and made the careers of other black actors possible.

      Poitier was born prematurely in the United States while his parents were visiting from The Bahamas. He grew up on Cat Island, Bahamas, and returned as a teenager to the United States, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served a brief stint in an army medical unit. Upon his discharge, he applied to the American Negro Theatre (ANT) in New York City. Refused a place because of his accent, he practiced American enunciation while listening to the accents of radio voices and reapplied to the ANT six months later. This time he was accepted, and he began studying acting while appearing in a series of ANT productions. He made his feature-length movie debut as Dr. Luther Brooks, a black doctor who treats a bigoted white criminal, in No Way Out (1950). This film established a significant pattern both for Poitier himself and for the black actors who followed him; by refusing roles that played to a racial stereotype, Poitier pushed the restrictive boundaries set by Hollywood and made inroads into the American mainstream. Another of his notable early roles was Gregory Miller, an alienated high school student in the film adaptation of Evan Hunter (Hunter, Evan)'s novel The Blackboard Jungle (1955). Despite his budding film career, Poitier continued to perform in live theatre and won critical acclaim on Broadway in 1959 with his starring role in Lorraine Hansberry (Hansberry, Lorraine)'s A Raisin in the Sun. He also starred in the 1961 film adaptation of the drama.

      Among his other early notable film roles were Noah Cullen in The Defiant Ones (1958), which earned him an Academy Award nomination as best actor, Porgy in Porgy and Bess (1959), Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field (1963)—for which he received the Academy Award for best actor—and Gordon Raife in A Patch of Blue (1965). He was the second black actor to win an Academy Award (Hattie McDaniel (McDaniel, Hattie) had won a best supporting actress Oscar for Gone with the Wind in 1939) and the first to insist that productions upon which he worked have a certain percentage of black crew members. Poitier also starred in three popular movies in 1967—In the Heat of the Night, To Sir with Love, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

      In 1969 Poitier founded the First Artists Production Company, and in 1972 he made his directorial debut with Buck and the Preacher. Among other films he directed are Uptown Saturday Night (1974), Stir Crazy (1980), and Ghost Dad (1990). After a long absence from the screen, Poitier appeared in Shoot to Kill (1988) and continued to act in feature films and made-for-television movies into the 21st century. In 2001, Poitier, the recipient of many prestigious acting awards, was presented with an honorary Academy Award for “his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being.” A dual citizen of the United States and The Bahamas, he was appointed ambassador to Japan for The Bahamas in 1997.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Poitier,Sidney — Poi·tier (pwäʹtyā), Sidney. Born 1927. American actor and director whose film credits include The Defiant Ones (1958) and Lilies of the Field (1963), for which he won an Academy Award. * * * …   Universalium

  • Poitier, Sidney — ► (n. 1924) Actor cinematográfico estadounidense. Fue el primer actor de color galardonado con el Oscar de la Academia por Los lirios del valle (1964). Otras películas: Semilla de maldad (1957), Adivina quién viene esta noche (1967), Rebelión en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Sidney — Sidney, Algernon Sidney, Philip (Sydney) ► C. del SE de Australia, cap. del estado de Nueva Gales del Sur, abierta al océano Pacífico, primera ciudad del país; 3 538 970 h. Dos grandes puentes unen la c. con la orilla N de la bahía. Puerto… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Sidney — /sid nee/, n. 1. Sir Philip, 1554 86, English poet, writer, statesman, and soldier. 2. a city in N Ohio. 17,657. 3. a male or female given name: a family name taken from a French placename, Saint Denis. Also, Sydney (for defs. 1, 3). * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • Sidney Poitier — (links) mit Harry Belafonte und Charlton Heston beim Civil Rights Marsch, 1963 Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE (* 20. Februar 1927 in Miami, Florida) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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