Sidney Poitier: Tributes To A Star

Actors come and go but not many leave their mark on Hollywood as much as this Academy Award winner did. Not only was he recognized for his raw, amazing, talent but he also shaped the way for Black actors in the film industry. On January 6th, in Los Angeles, California, Sidney Poitier sadly passed away at the age of 94. His cause of the death is unknown but his memory will live on as well as the impact he had on the film industry.

Lillies of the Field (1963), one of his most famous roles, won him an Academy Award for Best Actor. He broke the color barrier for the U.S. motion picture industry and became the first African-American to receive this award. His acceptance of roles also shaped the way for black actors since he rejected roles that were often based on racial stereotypes. He began acting through a series of productions by ANT (American Negro Theater). Initially, he was rejected by ANT because of his accent but through hard work he was able to fix it and they accepted him into the program. In 1946, he made his Broadway debut in Lysistrata.

Poitier was a big success in Hollywood after his Broadway debut. Along with Broadway, his first recognizable role was Dr. Luther Brooks, who was a Black doctor who treats a white criminal in No Way Out (1950). He was featured in dozens of other movies but his biggest one by far was Lilies of The Field. Lilies of The Field is categorized as an American film drama which explores many issues about faith. Poitier portrays a character named Homer Smith, who was an ex-GI. Homer encounters a group of German nuns in Arizona who persuade him to complete odd jobs for him. The mother superior who was portrayed by Lilia Skala, asks for his aid in helping him build a chapel. He faces many challenges along the way but finally finishes the chapel and earns the respect of both the nuns but the local townspeople as well.maybe just sum the movies up and not completely explain it?

He has left a permanent mark on the world and the movie industry. He inspired many Black actors before and afterwards to not give into stereotypical roles given to African-Americans. His legacy will live on through his many children and his long time wife, Joanna Shimkus. He set the stage for many, and showed people that it was not impossible to do what you love and keep pushing for it. He was one of the very first Black actors and through proving himself in the movie industry, he left a long lasting impact on the film industry.

Rest In Peace, Sidney Poitier (February 20th, 1927- January 6th, 2022).