This Day in Black History: Bahamian Actor Sidney Poitier was born

Actor Sidney Poitier

HOUSTON – Bahamian Actor Sidney Poitier was born on Feb. 20, 1927 in Miami, Florida.

Born in Miami and raised in The Bahamas, Poitier loved acting and theater. In 1944, Poitier auditioned for the American Negro Theater in Harlem, New York. In 1950, he starred in Darryl F. Zanuck’s No Way Out.

In 1955, Poitier played as Gregory Miller in the film Blackboard Jungle. In 1958, Poitier was the first Bahamian actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the film The Defiant Ones. In 1959, Poitier acted in his first Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun. Two years later, he starred in the film as Walter Lee Younger.

In 1963, Poitier received an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for his performance in the film Lilies of the Field — becoming the first African American actor to receive both prestigious awards.

In 1997, Poitier was a Bahamian ambassador to Japan for a decade. In 2002, he became a Bahamian ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Because of his passion and motivation to never give up on his love for the arts, Poitier achieved many accomplishments most people seek to desire.

A few of Sidney Poitier’s achievements:

1958 British Academy Film Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Defiant Ones

1958 Silver Bear for Best Actor in The Defiant Ones

1963 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field, Silver Bear for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field

1964 Academy Award for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field

1974 Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

1982 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award

1992 AFI Life Achievement Award

1995 Kennedy Center Honors