Sidney Poitier has died aged 94, it was announced Friday, but the elegant and regal actor has left a legacy in legendary roles.
As Hollywood’s first Black movie star, and the first black person to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, Poitier has been nominated for 40 awards and won 26.
Here are 12 of Poitier’s most memorable performances.
No way out (1950)
Like many of the films in which Poitier has starred, No way out is a film that deals with race relations and tensions between blacks and whites. In his feature film debut, Poitier plays Dr. Brooks, the first Black doctor at an urban hospital who has to take care of racist patients. The film, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, was considered controversial at the time for its graphic depiction of racial violence.
The Defiant Ones (1958)
In this adventure from director Stanley Kramer, Poitier plays a Southern inmate who is shackled with a white criminal (Tony Curtis), and together they escape. The two must work together on their perilous journey and discover they have more in common than they realize.
Poitier has won two awards for his performance in The Defiant Ones: BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor and Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for Best Actor.
He was also nominated for his first Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, and a Laurel Award in the category of Top Actor in a Drama Series.
Golden light in the sun (1961)
Golden light in the sun adapted from the 1959 play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Daniel Petrie. The film follows an African-American family on their quest for a better life.
For his portrayal of Walter Lee Younger, Poitier was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Series at the 1962 Golden Globes as well as the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor.
Lilies of the field (1963)
In this comedy-drama adapted from the novel by William Edmund Barrett and directed by Ralph Nelson, Poitier plays an itinerant practitioner who stumbles across a group of nuns and helps them make their dream of building a reality. a chapel come true.
For his performance, Poitier became the first black person to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
A patch of blue (1965)
The film tells the story of the relationship between a black office worker (Poitier) and a blind white woman (Elizabeth Hartman), whose mother (Shelley Winters) plots to break up the couple. Poitier and Hartman’s kiss scene was cut from the film – released amid the burgeoning civil rights movement – when it was shown in select Southern theaters.
To you, with love (In 1967)
In this British drama directed by James Clavell – one of the three main films starring Poitier released in 1967 – the actor plays a recent graduate with an engineering degree that cannot be found. jobs in his field, so he applied for a job as a teacher at a London school for disadvantaged children. There, he found a way to connect with students like no other teacher had before. Through his composure, encouragement and positivity, he earns the respect of his students.
In the heat of the night (In 1967)
In this mystery drama from director Norman Jewison, Poitier plays a Philadelphia-based police detective investigating a murder in a racially hostile town in the South.
Poitier’s performance earned him a Golden Globe and BAFTA Nominated for the award, he received second place at the Laurel Awards in the Drama Actor category.
Also, Poitier’s defiant quote, “They call me Mister Tibbs!” has become one of the most famous quotes in the history of cinema.
Guess who’s going to come and join me (In 1967)
Perhaps in his most iconic role, Poitier plays a doctor with interracial ties to a free-spirited white woman (Katharine Houghton). Director Stanley Kramer’s film portrays interracial marriage in a positive light at a time when interracial marriage is banned in more than a dozen states. It was a huge box office success.
Six months before the film’s release, the Supreme Court ruled Loving v. Virginia that the law banning interracial marriage is unconstitutional.
In 2005, the film was loosely remade into a film titled Guess who it isstarring Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher and Zoe Saldana, in which Kutcher plays a white man who meets his African-American girlfriend’s family for the first time.
Divided but still equal (1991)
During his career, Poitier has portrayed a number of real-life public figures. In this TV miniseries, he stars as civil rights activist and NAACP attorney (and future Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall in the legendary lawyer’s landmark case of 1954, Brown sues Board of Educationin which the Supreme Court ruled that state law establishing separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional.
For his performance, Poitier earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Television Series or Miniseries and an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries. or special movies.
Sport shoes (1992)
While not a critically acclaimed or socially important film – or a standout character – this hacker action comedy was a modest box office success that introduced Poitier to a new world. new system. The actor plays a former CIA officer in the team of security experts.
Mandela and de Klerk (1997)
Poitier played South African President Nelson Mandela in this Showtime series following Mandela and FW de Klerk (Michael Caine) in their efforts to end apartheid in South Africa.
The role earned Poitier an Emmy Award nomination in 1997 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Special.
The last bricklayer in America (2001)
The last bricklayer in America Poitier’s final role. The TV series follows Poitier as a man dealing with the loss of his wife and outdated job before becoming a role model for a 13-year-old boy who is also lost in life.
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