Hollywood legend Sidney Poitier dies, aged 94

He was hailed as one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood's Golden Age

Sir Sidney Poitier, who was the first Black man to win the Best Actor Oscar, has died aged 94.

The actor, who also worked as a filmmaker, activist and ambassador, was confirmed to have passed away by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas, Fred Mitchell (via The Guardian).

“We’ve lost a great a Bahamian and I’ve lost a personal friend,” Mitchell said.

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Poitier’s cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper said he was “conflicted with great sadness and a sense of celebration when I learned of the passing of Sir Sidney Poitier”.

“Sadness that he would no longer be here to tell him how much he means to us, but celebration that he did so much to show the world that those from the humblest beginnings can change the world and that we gave him his flowers while he was with us.

“We have lost an icon; a hero, a mentor, a fighter, a national treasure.”

Poitier won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1964 for Lilies Of The Field. Additionally, he was nominated for a further two Oscars, 10 Golden Globes and six BAFTAs. He was hailed as one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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During an expansive career, Poitier starred in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and To Sir, With Love.

Off screen, he was awarded a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2009.

Tributes have began to flood in from Hollywood. “Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love,” tweeted James Bond actor Jeffrey Wright.

“Sidney Poitier. An absolute legend. One of the greats,” wrote Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

See more tributes to Poitier below.

 

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