Poitier, Sidney, 1927-2022

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Sidney Poitier KBE (born February 20, 1927, Miami, Florida – died January 6, 2022, Los Angeles, California), Bahamian-American actor, film director, and ambassador. In 1964, he was the first African American and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also received two competitive Golden Globe Awards, a competitive British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Poitier's family lived in the Bahamas, then still a Crown colony, but he was born unexpectedly in Miami while they were visiting, which automatically granted him U.S. citizenship. He grew up in the Bahamas, but moved to Miami at age 15, and to New York City when he was 16. He joined the American Negro Theater, landing his breakthrough film role as a high school student in the film Blackboard Jungle (1955). In 1958, Poitier starred with Tony Curtis as chained-together escaped convicts in The Defiant Ones, which received nine Academy Award nominations; both actors received nominations for Best Actor, with Poitier's being the first for a Black actor. They both also had Best Actor nominations for the BAFTAs, with Poitier winning. In 1964, he won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field (1963), playing a handyman helping a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel.

Poitier also received acclaim for Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and A Patch of Blue (1965). He continued to break ground in three successful 1967 films which dealt with issues of race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night. He received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for his performance in the last film and in a poll the next year he was voted the US's top box-office star. Beginning in the 1970s, Poitier also directed various comedy films, including Stir Crazy (1980), starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, among other films. After nearly a decade away from acting, he returned to television and film starring in Shoot to Kill (1988) and Sneakers (1992).

Poitier was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honor. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.In 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film. In 1999, he ranked 22nd among male actors on the "100 Years...100 Stars" list by the American Film Institute. In 1982, he received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award and in 2000, he received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2002, he was given an Honorary Academy Award, in recognition of his "remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being".

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Film Festival Report Files National Archives at College Park
referencedIn President Barack Obama Awards the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Sidney Poitier Barack H. Obama Library
referencedIn Ben Shaktman Papers, 1949-2009 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection. Harvard Film Archive, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Frederick R. Koch collection of photographs of stage and screen actors and entertainers, ca. 1920-1979. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Poe, James, 1923-1980. The lilies of the field : shooting script / James Poe. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Arthur Unger collection of recorded interviews [sound recording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Caton-Jones, Michael, 1958-.... Le chacal [Multimédia multisupport] / Michael Caton-Jones, réal. ; Chuck Pfarrer, adapt. ; Carter Burwell, comp. ; Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sydney Poitier.. . [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Crowther, Frank, 1932-1976. Frank Crowther papers, 1955-1976 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Fellowship Commission. Photographs, 1946-1985 (Inclusive Dates). Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Chuck Stone Papers, 1931-2007 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Rose, William, 1914-1987. Guess who's coming to dinner?, 1967 / screenplay by William Rose. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn The E.Y. Harburg Collection, 1929-1968 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Background Reports Relating to Film Festivals National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Velina Hasu Houston Papers, 1986-1998 The Huntington Library
creatorOf Caton-Jones, Michael, 1958-.... Le chacal [Multimédia multisupport] / Michael Caton-Jones, réal. ; Chuck Pfarrer, adapt. et scénario ; Carter Burwell, comp. ; Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier.. . [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Twist, John, 1898-1976. Band of angels : screenplay / by John Twist. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Vickrey, William S. (William Spencer), 1914-. William S. Vickrey Papers, 1939-1996. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Aurthur, Robert Alan, 1922-1978. The lost man : final screenplay / by Robert Alan Aurthur. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Highlights from] dedication of new memorial at the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City, New York, with keynote address by Secretary Dirk Kempthorne [and presentations by dignitaries including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Senator Charles Schumer, General Services Administrator Lurita Doan, National Park Service Deputy Director for Operations Dan Wenk, African Burial Ground Superintendent Tara Morrison, New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Director Howard Dodson, poet and novelist Maya Angelou, and actors Sidney Poitier and Avery Brooks] National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Amateau, Rod. The Wilby conspiracy: screenplay / by Rod Amateau, Harold Nebenzal ; based on the novel by Peter Driscoll. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Davis, Ossie. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee drama collection, 1951-1981 (bulk 1970-1979). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee drama collection, 1951-1981, 1970-1979 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Philip Rose papers, 1944-2007 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Douglas, Nathan E. The defiant ones: [screenplay] / by Nathan E. Douglas and Harold Jacob Smith. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Preston, Robert, 1913-1987. Robert Preston collection, 1920-1991. Boston University. School of Medicine
creatorOf Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967. The strollin' twenties : typescript, 1965 Nov. 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Henderson, Scott L. Photographs, 1912-1989 (bulk 1960-1980). Virginia Union University, L. Douglas Wilder Library & Learning Resource Center
referencedIn William S. Vickrey Papers, 1939-1996 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Harvard Law School Forums Records Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Dedication of new memorial at the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City, New York, with keynote address by Secretary Dirk Kempthorne [and presentations by dignitaries including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Senator Charles Schumer, General Services Administrator Lurita Doan, National Park Service Deputy Director for Operations Dan Wenk, African Burial Ground Superintendent Tara Morrison, New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Director Howard Dodson, poet and novelist Maya Angelou, and actors Sidney Poitier and Avery Brooks.] National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Poitier, Sidney. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1963-1968. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Warner Bros. Black films collection, 1939-1984 (bulk 1967-1984). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Caton-Jones, Michael, 1958-.... Le chacal [Multimédia multisupport] / Michael Caton-Jones, réal. ; Chuck Pfarrer, adapt. et scénario ; Carter Burwell, comp. ; Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier.. . [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Aurthur, Robert Alan, 1922-1978. For love of Ivy : screenplay / by Robert Alan Aurthur ; screen story by Sidney Poitier. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
Relation Name
associatedWith Amateau, Rod. person
associatedWith Aurthur, Robert Alan, 1922-1978 person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Crowther, Frank, 1932-1976. person
associatedWith Davis, Ossie person
associatedWith Davis, Ossie. person
associatedWith Douglas, Nathan E. person
associatedWith E. Y. Harburg person
associatedWith Fellowship Commission. corporateBody
correspondedWith Harvard Law School Forum corporateBody
associatedWith Henderson, Scott L. person
correspondedWith Houston, Velina Hasu person
associatedWith Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967. person
associatedWith Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson), collector. person
associatedWith Poe, James, 1923-1980. person
correspondedWith Preston, Robert, 1913-1987. person
associatedWith Rose, Philip, 1921-2011 person
associatedWith Rose, William, 1914-1987. person
associatedWith Shaktman, Ben, 1937- person
associatedWith Stone, Chuck person
associatedWith Twist, John, 1898-1976. person
associatedWith Unger, Arthur person
associatedWith Vickrey, William S. (William Spencer), 1914- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Occupation
Actors
Activity

Person

Birth 1927-02-20

Bahamians

English

Information

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