Sir Sidney Poitier: Hollywood Trailblazer Dies Aged 94
The Hollywood star’s death was confirmed to the BBC by the office of Fred Mitchell, the Bahamas’ minister of foreign affairs.
Poitier was a trailblazing actor and a respected humanitarian and diplomat. He won the Academy Award for best actor for Lilies of the Field in 1963.
Born in Miami, he grew up both in the US and Bahamas and became a star of the stage and screen.
His appearance in The Defiant Ones in 1958 earned him his first Oscar nomination.
The actor was a regular on the big screen at a time of racial segregation in the US, appearing in a Patch of Blue in 1965, and then Heat of the Night the year after, followed by Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, playing a black man with a white fiancee.
In Heat of the Night he portrayed Virgil Tibbs, a black police officer confronting racism during a murder investigation.
Poitier went on to direct a raft of films, and a Broadway play about life and career was announced last month.