Ten fun facts about Sidney Poitier

1. First African American Actor to Win Academy Award

Sidney Poitier made history in 1963 when he became the first African American actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role of Homer Smith in the film “Lilies of the Field”. His performance was so powerful and moving that it earned him the highest honor in the film industry, a feat that had never been achieved before by an African American actor. Poitier's win was a major milestone in the fight for racial equality and recognition in Hollywood.

AlsoMorgan Freeman: Iconic Actor Who Broke Barriers in Hollywood


2. One of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time

Sidney Poitier is one of the most iconic movie stars of all time, having been ranked number twenty in Premiere Magazine's "Greatest Movie Stars of All Time" list in 2005. His career has spanned over six decades, during which he has starred in numerous classic films, such as The Defiant Ones, In the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. He has also won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his performance in Lilies of the Field, making him the first African American to win an Oscar for a leading role.

AlsoMichael Douglas: an acclaimed actor with a long and successful career

3. From Bus Station to Broadway

In 1950, Sidney Poitier made the bold move from the Caribbean to New York City in pursuit of his dream of becoming an actor. With no money and no place to stay, he resorted to sleeping in a bus station until he finally got his big break with his first role in the film “No Way Out.” Despite the odds being stacked against him, Poitier persevered and went on to become one of the most successful and influential actors of his time.

AlsoJan Decleir: Award-Winning Actor

4. Sidney Poitier, Hollywood Legend

Sidney Poitier is a true Hollywood legend, having been ranked number twenty-two on the American Film Institute's list of the "50 Greatest Screen Legends". His career has spanned over six decades, during which he has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1963 film Lilies of the Field. He was also the first African-American actor to win an Oscar, and the first African-American to be nominated for two Academy Awards in the same year. Poitier has also been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

AlsoChristoph Waltz Wins Oscar for Tarantino Film


5. Actor & Cancer Researcher

Sidney Poitier is a renowned actor and humanitarian who has made a lasting impact on the world. He is particularly well-known for being a survivor of prostate cancer, and today he continues to make a difference by donating generously to cancer research. His donations have helped to fund groundbreaking research and treatments, and his commitment to the cause is an inspiration to many.

AlsoMarlee Matlin: Deaf Actress Who Won Academy Award for Best Actress

6. Knighted by the British Empire

In 1974, Sidney Poitier was honored with the prestigious title of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. This esteemed award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the arts, sciences, or public services in the United Kingdom. Poitier was recognized for his outstanding achievements in the film industry, having become the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1963.

AlsoJavier Bardem: Academy Award Nominee

7. From Stage to Screen

Sidney Poitier had aspirations of getting involved in Off Broadway productions, but his dreams were quickly dashed when he realized he was tone deaf. This discovery put an end to his plans of performing on stage, and instead he pursued a career in film and television. Poitier went on to become one of the most acclaimed actors of his time, winning an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his performance in the movie "Lilies of the Field".

AlsoF. Murray Abraham Wins Best Actor for "Amadeus"


8. Sidney Poitier Can Speak Russian Like a Native

The legendary actor Sidney Poitier is a man of many talents, one of which is his fluency in the Russian language. Poitier has been able to master the language, which is known for its complex grammar and difficult pronunciation, and can now converse with native Russian speakers with ease. His impressive linguistic skills have allowed him to communicate with a wider range of people, and have no doubt been a great asset to him throughout his career.

AlsoTom Hanks: From bellman to Hollywood superstar

9. Iconic Actor and Role Model

Sidney Poitier is a renowned actor, best known for his iconic role as Virgil Tibbs in the 1967 classic, "In the Heat of the Night". His performance in the film earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him the first African American to win the award. Poitier's portrayal of Tibbs, a black police detective from the North, was groundbreaking for its time, and his performance has been praised for its subtlety and complexity. His work in the film has been credited with helping to break down racial barriers in Hollywood and beyond.

AlsoBenicio Del Toro Wins 2000 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

10. From Dirt Farmer to Oscar Winner

Sidney Poitier was raised in extreme poverty, with his father working as a dirt farmer to provide for the family. Despite the difficult circumstances, Poitier was determined to make something of himself and eventually became one of the most celebrated actors of his time, winning an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his role in "Lilies of the Field". His success was a testament to his hard work and determination to rise above his humble beginnings.

AlsoKevin Spacey: An Acclaimed Actor with a Career in Motion


More interesting reads about...

Click here for more people facts ❯


Short about Sidney Poitier
Is an American born Bahamian actor, author, director and diplomat.