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19) #BlackHistoryMonth Sir Sidney Poitier

Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE . Few have more first in front of their names than Sidney Poitier:  first Black actor to become a hero to both black and white audiences- the first Black actor to win a prestigious international film award (Venice Film Festival, Something of Value,1957), the first to be nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award The Defiant Ones,1958), the first to star as a romantic lead Paris Blues,1961), the first to win the Oscar Lilies of the Fields, 1963), the first to become the number one box office star in the country (1968), and the first to insist on a film crew that was at least 50 percent African-American. The Lost Man, 1969). In addition to being a legendary actor and director, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, KBE in 1974 he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Poitier died in January 2023 from a combination of cardiopulmonary failure, prostate cancer, and Alzheimer’s.


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