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Overview for Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier



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Also Known As: Died:
Born: February 20, 1927 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Miami, Florida, USA Profession: Cast ...


Poiter was rated the Number 7 top money-making star in the 1967 Quigley poll of exhibitors, and placed Number 1 in 1968.

"You could characterize my career as a fairly successful and substantive one if you were to look at all 42 films I've made. Most of the scripts I did were written by whites. To require a white person to write only for whites is stupid. To require me to write only for blacks is also stupid." --Sidney Poitier at American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies seminar (quoted in American Film, September/October 1991)

"Poitier's ascension to stardom in the mid-1950s was no accident. ... in this integrationist age Poitier was the model integrationist hero. In all his films he was educated and intelligent. ... His characters were tame, never did they act impulsively, nor were they threats to the system. ... And finally they were non-funky, almost sexless and sterile.

Poitier was also acceptable for black audiences. He was the paragon of black middle-class values and virtues. ... he did not carry any ghetto cultural baggage with him. No dialect. No shuffling. No African cultural past. ... he was the complete antithesis of all the black buffoons who had appeared before in American movies.

Finally, Poitier became a star because of his talent. He may have played the old tom dressed up with modern intelligence and reason, but he dignified the figure. Always on display was the actor's sensitivity and strength." --Donald Bogle ("Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks" 1973)

He was given the William J German Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee in 1966.

Poitier was decorated Knight Commander for the Order of the British Empire (1974)

He received the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Award for his longstanding committment to civil rights and excellence in the portrayal of minorities in the film and entertainment industry in 1993.

In 1997, Poitier was named the Bahamas' ambassador to Japan; the actor holds dual citizenship

"No one expected that the son of a tomato farmer and a semi-literate lady would ever make a stir of any consequence. I flirted with reform school. I was an incorrigible kid to some extent. I didn't know where I was, who I was, or what I was. And the society in which I lived didn't care too much.

There was a teacher in the Carribean. His name was Mr Fawkes and he taught like Thackeray [Poitier's character in "To Sir With Love"]. He was so remarkable. He used to tell us stories about those places beyond our limited horizon.

He stimulated our imagination and nurtured it. I learned how to daydream and that, after all, is what I apply when I work nowadays." --Poitier to Daily News, April 7, 1996

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