Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier dies at 94

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Sidney Poitier, who won an Academy Award for best actor for his role in “Lilies of the Field” in 1963, has died, a spokesperson from the Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs told Spectrum News. He was 94.

Poitier was known as an activist who broke color barriers in the movie industry and entertainment. He was the first Black performer to win an Oscar for Best Actor.

The cause of death or where he died was not revealed.

Some of Poitier’s more notable roles were as Mark Thackeray in “To Sir With Love,” Detective Virgil Tibbs in “The Heat of the Night” in 1967, and in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” also released in 1967.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barak Obama.

From 1997 to 2007, Poitier, who has dual citizenship in the United States and the Bahamas, served as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan.

Poitier is survived by his wife, Joanna, and six daughters.