Acclaimed actor Sidney Poitier dies at 94
Hollywood is mourning the loss of legendary actor Sidney Poitier, who died Friday at 94 years of age.
Not only was Poitier known for his incredible acting chops, but for his humility and tenacity.
At only 16, as a young man who could not read well and was simply seeking a dishwashing job, he stumbled into an acting career.
Though initially rejected by casting agencies and audiences due to the way he spoke and an inability to read well, Poitier did not give up on his dream.
After improving his reading with the assistance of a waiter who sat with him every night for several weeks teaching him to read, Poitier eventually went on to become the first Black man to be awarded Best Actor at 1964's Academy Awards and to star in iconic films such as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and Lilies of the Field.
He also played a role in politics when he was appointed ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan in April of 1997, a position he held until 2007.
And, from 2002 to 2007, he was also the ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO.
According to the New York Post, Poitier's cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
The news was announced by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell and Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis is scheduled to hold a press conference in tribute of the late legend on Friday morning, local outlets reported.
Poitier, the youngest of seven children and the son of Bahamian farmers, pushed his way through multiple racial-related challenges in Hollywood and continued to audition despite constant rejection.
His efforts were not in vain as, over the course of his film career, he was nominated for two Oscars, 10 Golden Globes and six BAFTAs, as well as receiving eight Laurel nominations.
When Poitier's death was announced, social media was flooded with tributes from actors and other leading figures in both the entertainment and political arenas.
Sidney Poitier. An absolute legend. One of the greats. pic.twitter.com/jd2Xd7vmIJ— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) January 7, 2022
Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love.— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) January 7, 2022
(??Sam Falk/NYT) pic.twitter.com/5ZaKxxPdxw
So sad to read of the passing of Sidney Poitier. Thank you for gracing us with your brilliance. RIP pic.twitter.com/KQjJdKAw1p— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) January 7, 2022
If you wanted the sky i would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high..— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) January 7, 2022
To Sir… with Love
Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P.
He showed us how to reach for the stars
We are deeply saddened by the news of trailblazer, humanitarian, and cultural icon Sidney Poitier's passing.— The Black Caucus (@TheBlackCaucus) January 7, 2022
May his memory be a blessing.
"In my case, the body of work stands for itself... I think my work has been representative of me as a man."
— Sidney Poitier pic.twitter.com/0HTcxNnzuc
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