Hollywood’s First Black Movie Star, Sidney Poitier, Dead at 94

Sidney Poitier, Bahamian-American actor who was the first Black male to win an Oscar for Best Actor has died.

His death was confirmed Thursday evening and reported by The Honorable Frederick Mitchell, the Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service.

Poitier had an illustrious career in film at a time where prominent Black roles were uncommon. Known for his iconic roles in A Raisin in the Sun in 1961 and Lilies of the Field of 1963, the Hollywood legend would go on to star in To Sir, with LoveIn the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at the peak of his career in 1967.

Hollywood and others took to twitter following the death of the groundbreaking actor, director and activist.

“I think about death, but I’m not fearful of it,” the star said on Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class. “I’ve reduced the concept of my existence, by saying, ‘I truly, truly try to be better tomorrow than I was today.’ And I mean better as simply a better human being, not a better actor, not a better anything, but just a better human being. That will please me well. And, when I die I will not be afraid of having lived.”

Sidney Poitier’s grace, elegance and brilliance inspired and blazed a trail for so many. His talent and cultural impact will live on forever.

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