Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win the ‘best actor’ Oscar award, has died aged 94.
According to BBC, Poitier’s death was confirmed by the office of Fred Mitchell, the Bahamas’ foreign affairs minister.
The deceased was a trailblazing actor and a respected humanitarian and diplomat.
The Hollywood film star won the Academy Award for best actor for ‘Lilies of the Field’, a comedy-drama, in 1963.
He was acclaimed as the first African American man to ever slap a white man on screen after his role in the 1967 movie ‘In The Heat of the Night’.
Born in Miami, Poitier grew up both in the US and Bahamas, becoming a star of the stage and screen.
He got two further Academy Award nominations, ten Golden Globes nominations, two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, six BAFTA nominations, eight Laurel nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination.
Upon the death of the actor Kirk Douglas in 2020, Poitier became one of the last surviving major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, and the oldest living and earliest surviving male Academy Award winner.
From 1997 to 2007, Poitier served as Bahamian Ambassador to Japan.
The ace actor was first married to Juanita Hardy in 1950 until 1965.
He became a resident of Mount Vernon in Westchester County in 1956, though they raised their family in Stuyvesant, New York, in a house on the Hudson River.
In 1959, Poitier began a nine-year affair with actress Diahann Carroll.
He married Joanna Shimkus, the Canadian former actress in 1976 and they remained married for the rest of his life.
He had four daughters with his first wife (Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, and Gina) and two with his second (Anika and Sydney Tamiia).
In addition to his six daughters, Poitier had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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