Sidney Poitier, Hollywood’s first big African-American star, has died at the age of 94, the Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister reported Friday.
Poitier, who had dual citizenship – American and Bahamian – was “An icon, a hero, a mentor, a fighter, a national treasure”Chester Cooper said on his official Facebook page.
The celebrated actor became the first star of color to be nominated for an Academy Award with 1958’s “The Defiant Ones,” and six years later, he was the first to win the best actor Oscar for his performance in 1963’s “Lilies of the Field.”
Poitier achieved widespread popularity with a series of groundbreaking roles at a time of great racial tension in America in the 1950s and 1960s.
He balanced success with a sense of duty to choose projects that addressed bigotry and stereotypes, including his 1967 classics “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “In the Heat of the Night” and “To the Teacher with Love.”
“I was in conflict with great sadness and a sense of celebration when I found out of the death of Sir Sidney PoitierCooper said Friday.
“Sadness that I would no longer be here to tell you how much you mean to us, but celebration that you did so much to show the world that those who come from the humblest beginnings can change the planet “, stressed.
“We will miss him deeply, but his it is a legacy that will never be forgotten “, the official said.
Poitier He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2002 for his “extraordinary performances” on the big screen. and his “dignity, style and intelligence” outside of it.