Born on 20 th February 1927 in Miami, USA, Sidney Poitier was the son of a dirt farmer. The young Poitier actually grew up in Cat Island in the Bahamas, but at the tender age of fifteen was sent back to Miami to live with his brother. Coming from a predominantly black are into the often racist streets of Miami was something of a shock for Poitier, and he became determined to make something of himself and raise opportunities for black people.
Aged eighteen, Sidney moved to New York, and after a string of menial jobs and failed auditions finally got accepted at the American Negro Theatre. After being spotted in rehearsals, he was awarded a bit part in a Broadway production, and the excellent reviews he received carved his acting career. After this, Poitier had the luxury of choosing between the stage and the big screen.
After starring in the movie ‘No Way Out’ in 1950, Poitier began to get more and more movie roles. However, it was not until the late fifties that Sidney began to get high profile, leading roles, which was then practically unknown for a black man. He broke further barriers with Academy Award nominations and Oscars for movies such as ‘The Defiant Ones’. ‘Lilies of the Field’, ‘Guess who’s coming to dinner’ and ‘To Sir with love’.Since then, Poitier has dabbled with directing, and although he is not in the public eye as much as he used to be, he has firmly won his place in the Hollywood history books as one of the most popular, respected and dedicated black actors of the last century.
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