Sir Sidney Poitier dead at 94
Share this article:
Sidney Poitier has died.
The 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' actor - who was the first black winner of the Best Actor Oscar for his work on 'Lilies of the Field' - has passed away aged 94, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell, according to Eyewitness News Bahamas.
Fred said: "We've lost a great a Bahamian and I've lost a personal friend."
A cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Sidney grew up in the Bahamas but was granted US citizenship after being born unexpectedly in Miami while his parents were visiting the US. He relocated to America when he was 15, landing his first movie role in 1955's 'Blackboard Jungle'.
He was first nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for 'The Defiant Ones' and made history with his win six years later.
When Denzel Washington became the second Black actor to take the accolade in 2001 for 'Training Day', he paid tribute to Sidney.
He said: “I’ll always be chasing you, Sidney. I’ll always be following in your footsteps. There’s nothing I would rather do, sir.”
And earlier this week, Denzel expressed his sadness he had never made a movie with the 'To Sir, with Love' actor, who was retired.
He said: “God bless him – He’s still here, but yeah, I missed that opportunity."
Sidney - who was married to Juanita Hardy from 1960 to 1965 and Joanna Shmkus from 1976 to his death - is survived by six children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Last month, it was announced he would be the subject of a new Broadway play.