Sidney Poitier Will Forever Be an Icon

Getty / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

The world is saddened by the news of the death of Sidney Poitier. The late actor died at age 94 on Jan. 6. Upon learning of his death, tributes immediately poured in from fans and celebrities alike. The film director, activist, philanthropist, diplomat, and author was the definition of a true trailblazer. His excellence, grace, and sheer passion for the arts is enough to cement his legacy as an iconic film star. But for Black actors specifically, Sidney’s body of work changed the face of Hollywood forever, and it’s his accomplishments that we have to thank for breaking down so many doors for today’s stars.

Just looking back at his many standout roles – including A Raisin in the Sun, The Defiant Ones, No Way Out, Lilies of the Field, and To Sir, With Love, to name a few – Sidney’s multidecade pioneering career gave many actors a path to aspire to in their own endeavors. Beyond the silver screen, Sidney dedicated his life to humanitarianism, specifically from his native Bahamas. He served as a Bahamian ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2007, as well as a vocal civil rights advocate for Black actors throughout his life. Not enough can be said to highlight all of Sidney’s countless, tremendous contributions, but you can read about some of his best moments ahead.

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