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Trailblazer Actor Sidney Poitier Has Passed Away At 94

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

Trailblazer Actor Sidney Poitier Has Passed Away At 94
The Bahamian actor, activist and former ambassador passed away early on Friday, January, 7. His death was announced by Bahamas Minister of Foreign affairs Fred Mitchell.

Sir Sidney Poitier, who was born in Miami and raised in the Bahamas, was the first Black man and Bahamian actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his performance in Lillies of the Field  (1963). His groundbreaking work as an actor during the 50s and 60s paved the way for generations of Black actors.

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Later in his life, Poitier retreated from the cinema in the late 80s, and while he took on odd acting roles and directed movies like Ghost Dad,  he took on the role of elder statesman in both cinematic and diplomatic circles for his home country. He was knighted in 1974 and was appointed Bahamas ambassador to Japan in 1997. In 2002 he received an honorary Oscar, in 2009 he was awarded the presidential medal of freedom, and in 2016 a Bafta fellowship.

The Bahamas deputy prime minister, Chester Cooper, said he was “conflicted with great sadness and a sense of celebration when I learned of the passing of Sir Sidney Poitier.”

“We have lost an icon. A hero, a mentor, a fighter, a national treasure,” he added.

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