Sidney L. Poitier KBE was a Bahamian-American actor, film director, activist, and ambassador. In 1964, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, becoming the first African American and Bahamian actor to win the award. He received two Academy Award nominations, ten Golden Globes nominations, two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, six BAFTA nominations, eight Laurel nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan.
Sidney Poitier // PWAH-tyay; February 20, 1927 – January 6, 2022) was a Bahamian-American actor, film director, and ambassador. In 1964, he was the first African American and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also received two competitive Golden Globe Awards, a competitive British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.(
|Born||February 20, 1927|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Died||January 6, 2022 (aged 94)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1950; div. 1965)
|Partner(s)||Diahann Carroll (1959–1968)|
|Children||6, including Sydney|
|Ambassador of the Bahamas|
|1997–2007||Ambassador to Japan|
|2002–2007||Ambassador to UNESCO|
Poitier's family lived in the Bahamas, then still a Crown colony, but he was born unexpectedly in Miami while they were visiting, which automatically granted him U.S. citizenship. He grew up in the Bahamas, but moved to Miami at age 15, and to New York City when he was 16. He joined the American Negro Theater, landing his breakthrough film role as a high school student in the film Blackboard Jungle (1955). In 1958, Poitier starred with Tony Curtis as chained-together escaped convicts in The Defiant Ones, which received nine Academy Award nominations; both actors received nominations for Best Actor, with Poitier's being the first for a Black actor. They both also had Best Actor nominations for the BAFTAs, with Poitier winning. In 1964, he won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actor[a] for Lilies of the Field (1963), playing a handyman helping a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel.
Poitier also received acclaim for Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and A Patch of Blue (1965). He continued to break ground in three successful 1967 films which dealt with issues of race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night. He received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for his performance in the last film and in a poll the next year he was voted the US's top box-office star. Beginning in the 1970s, Poitier also directed various comedy films, including Stir Crazy (1980), starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, among other films. After nearly a decade away from acting, he returned to television and film starring in Shoot to Kill (1988) and Sneakers (1992).
Poitier was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honor. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. In 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film. In 1999, he ranked 22nd among male actors on the "100 Years...100 Stars" list by the American Film Institute. In 1982, he received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award and in 2000, he received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2002, he was given an Honorary Academy Award, in recognition of his "remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being".
Sidney Poitier was born on February 20, 1927, in Miami, Florida. He was the youngest of seven children born to Evelyn (née Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, Bahamian farmers who owned a farm on Cat Island. The family would travel to Miami to sell tomatoes and other produce. His father also worked as a cab driver in Nassau. Poitier was born unexpectedly in Miami while his parents were visiting; his birth was three months premature, and he was not expected to survive, but his parents remained in Miami for three months to nurse him to health. Poitier grew up in the Bahamas, then a British Crown colony. Owing to his (unplanned) birth in the United States, he was automatically entitled to U.S. citizenship.
Some believe that the Poitier ancestors had migrated from Haiti, and were probably among the runaway slaves who established maroon communities throughout the Bahamas, including Cat Island. Poitier was originally a French name, and that there were then no white Poitiers nearby in the Bahamas. However, there had been a white Poitier on Cat Island—the name came from planter Charles Leonard Poitier, who had immigrated from Jamaica in the early 1800s. In 1834, his wife's estate on Cat Island had 86 black slaves who kept the name Poitier, a name that had been introduced into the Anglosphere since the Norman conquest in the eleventh century.
Poitier lived with his family on Cat Island until he was ten, when they moved to Nassau. There he was exposed to the modern world, where he saw his first automobile and first experienced electricity, plumbing, refrigeration, and motion pictures. He was raised Catholic but later became an agnostic with views closer to deism.
At age fifteen, he was sent to Miami to live with his brother's large family. At sixteen, he moved to New York City, looking to become an actor, holding a string of jobs as a dishwasher in the meantime. After failing his first audition with the American Negro Theater due to his inability to read the script, an elderly Jewish waiter sat with him every night for several weeks, helping him learn how to read using the newspaper. During World War II, in November 1943, he lied about his age and enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to a Veteran's Administration hospital in Northport, New York, and was trained to work with psychiatric patients. Poitier became upset with how the hospital treated its patients and feigned mental illness to obtain a discharge. Poitier confessed to a psychiatrist that he was faking his condition, but the doctor was sympathetic and granted his discharge under Section VIII of Army regulation 615–360 in December 1944.
After leaving the Army, he worked as a dishwasher until a successful audition landed him a role in an American Negro Theater production, the same company he failed his first audition with.
Poitier joined the American Negro Theater but was rejected by audiences. Contrary to what was expected of black actors at the time, Poitier's tone deafness made him unable to sing. Determined to refine his acting skills and rid himself of his noticeable Bahamian accent, he spent the next six months dedicating himself to achieving theatrical success. He modeled his legendary speech pattern after radio personality Norman Brokenshire. On his second attempt at the theater, he was noticed and given a leading role in the Broadway production of Lysistrata, for which, though it ran a failing four days, he received an invitation to understudy for Anna Lucasta.
By late 1949, Poitier had to choose between leading roles on stage and an offer to work for Darryl F. Zanuck in the film No Way Out (1950). His performance in No Way Out, as a doctor treating a Caucasian bigot (played by Richard Widmark, who became a friend), was noticed and led to more roles, each considerably more interesting and more prominent than those most African-American actors of the time were offered. In 1951, he traveled to South Africa with the African-American actor Canada Lee to star in the film version of Cry, the Beloved Country. Poitier's distinction continued in his role as Gregory W. Miller, a member of an incorrigible high-school class in Blackboard Jungle (1955). But it was his performance in Martin Ritt's 1957 Edge of the City that the industry could not ignore. It was a pitch towards stardom granted him.
Poitier enjoyed working for director William Wellman on Good-bye, My Lady (1956). Wellman was a big name, he had previously directed the famous Roxie Hart (1942) with Ginger Rogers and Magic Town (1947) with James Stewart. What Poitier remembered indelibly was the wonderful humanity in this talented director. Wellman had a sensitivity that Poitier thought was profound, which Wellman felt he needed to hide." Poitier later praised Wellman for inspiring his thoughtful approach to directing when he found himself taking the helm from Joseph Sargent on Buck and the Preacher in 1971.
In 1958 he starred alongside Tony Curtis in director Stanley Kramer's The Defiant Ones. The film was a critical and commercial success with the performances of both Poitier and Curtis being praised. The film landed eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor nominations for both stars, making Poitier the first Black male actor to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award as best actor. Poitier did win the British Academy Film Award for Best Foreign Actor.
Poitier acted in the first production of A Raisin in the Sun alongside Ruby Dee on the Broadway stage at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1959. The play was directed by Lloyd Richards. The play introduced details of Black life to the overwhelmingly White Broadway audiences, while director Richards observed that it was the first play to which large numbers of Black people were drawn. The play was a groundbreaking piece of American theater with Frank Rich, critic from The New York Times writing in 1983, that A Raisin in the Sun "changed American theater forever". That same year Poitier would star in the film adaptation of Porgy and Bess (1959) alongside Dorothy Dandridge. For his performance Poitier received a 1960 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
If the fabric of the society were different, I would scream to high heaven to play villains and to deal with different images of Negro life that would be more dimensional . . . But I’ll be damned if I do that at this stage of the game. Not when there is only one Negro actor working in films with any degree of consistency . . .
Sidney Poitier (1967)
In 1961, Poitier starred in the film adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun for which he received another Golden Globe Award nomination. Also in 1961, Poitier starred in Paris Blues alongside Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Louis Armstrong, and Diahann Carroll. The film dealt with the American racism of the time by contrasting it with Paris's open acceptance of Black people. In 1963 he starred in Lilies of the Field. For this role, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor and became the first Black male to win the award. His satisfaction at this honor was undermined by his concerns that this award was more of the industry congratulating itself for having him as a token and it would inhibit him from asking for more substantive considerations afterward. Poitier worked relatively little over the following year; he remained the only major actor of African descent and the roles offered were predominantly typecast as a soft-spoken appeaser.
In 1964, Poitier recorded an album with the composer Fred Katz called Poitier Meets Plato, in which Poitier recites passages from Plato's writings. He also performed in the Cold War drama The Bedford Incident (1965) alongside the film's producer Richard Widmark, the Biblical epic film The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) alongside Charlton Heston and Max von Sydow, and A Patch of Blue (1965) co-starring Elizabeth Hartman and Shelley Winters.
In 1967, he was the most successful draw at the box office, the commercial peak of his career, with three popular films, To Sir, with Love, and In the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. In To Sir, with Love, Poitier plays a teacher at a secondary school in the East End of London. The film deals with social and racial issues in the inner city school. The film was met with mixed response; however, Poitier was praised for his performance, with the critic from Time writing, "Even the weak moments are saved by Poitier, who invests his role with a subtle warmth."
In Norman Jewison's mystery drama In the Heat of the Night, Poitier played Virgil Tibbs, a police detective from Philadelphia who investigates a murder in the deep south in Mississippi alongside a cop with racial prejudices played by Rod Steiger. The film was a critical success with Bosley Crowther of The New York Times calling it "the most powerful film I have seen in a long time." Roger Ebert placed it at number ten on his top ten list of 1967 films. Art Murphy of Variety felt that the excellent Poitier and outstanding Steiger performances overcame noteworthy flaws, including an uneven script. Poitier received a Golden Globe Award and British Academy Film Award nomination for his performance.
In Stanley Kramer's social drama Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Poitier played a man in a relationship with a White woman played by Katharine Houghton. The film revolves around her bringing him to meet with her parents played by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The film was one of the rare films at the time to depict an interracial marriage in a positive light, as interracial marriage historically had been illegal in most states of the United States. It was still illegal in 17 states—mostly Southern states—until June 12, 1967, six months before the film was released. The film was a critical and financial success. In his film review, Roger Ebert described Poitier's character as "a noble, rich, intelligent, handsome, ethical medical expert" and that the film "is a magnificent piece of entertainment. It will make you laugh and may even make you cry." To win his role as Dr. Prentice in the film, Poitier had to audition for Tracy and Hepburn at two separate dinner parties.
Poitier began to be criticized for being typecast as over-idealized African-American characters who were not permitted to have any sexuality or personality faults, such as his character in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Poitier was aware of this pattern himself but was conflicted on the matter. He wanted more varied roles; but he also felt obliged to set an example with his characters, by challenging old stereotypes, as he was the only major actor of African descent being cast in leading roles in the American film industry at the time. For instance, in 1966, he turned down an opportunity to play the lead in an NBC television production of Othello with that spirit in mind. Despite this, many of the films in which Poitier starred during the 1960s would later be cited as social thrillers by both filmmakers and critics.
In the Heat of the Night featured his most successful character, Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, detective whose subsequent career was the subject of two sequels: They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970) and The Organization (1971).
Poitier directed several films, the most successful being the Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder comedy Stir Crazy (1980), which for many years was the highest-grossing film directed by a person of African descent. His feature film directorial debut, in 1972, was the Western Buck and the Preacher, in which Poitier also starred, alongside Harry Belafonte. Poitier replaced the original director, Joseph Sargent. The following year, Poitier also directed and starred in the romance drama A Warm December. The trio of Poitier, Cosby, and Belafonte reunited, with Poitier again directing, in Uptown Saturday Night (1974). He directed Cosby in Let's Do It Again (1975), A Piece of the Action (1977), and Ghost Dad (1990). Poitier directed Fast Forward in 1985.
In 1988, he starred in Shoot to Kill with Tom Berenger. In 1992, he starred in Sneakers with Robert Redford and Dan Aykroyd. In 1997, he played a supporting role in The Jackal with Richard Gere and Bruce Willis. In the 1990s, he starred in several well received television movies and miniseries such as Separate but Equal (1991), To Sir, with Love II (1996), Mandela and de Klerk (1997), and The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn (1999). He received Emmy nominations for his work in Separate but Equal and Mandela and de Klerk, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for the former. He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2001.
In 2002, Poitier received the 2001 Honorary Academy Award for his overall contribution to American cinema. Later in the ceremony, Denzel Washington won the award for Best Actor for his performance in Training Day, becoming the second Black actor to win the award. In his victory speech, Washington saluted Poitier by saying "I'll always be chasing you, Sidney. I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir."
With the death of Ernest Borgnine in 2012, Poitier became the oldest living recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor. On March 2, 2014, Poitier appeared with Angelina Jolie at the 86th Academy Awards to present the Best Director Award. He was given a standing ovation and Jolie thanked him for all his Hollywood contributions, stating: "We are in your debt." Poitier gave a brief speech, telling his peers to "keep up the wonderful work" to warm applause. In 2021, the academy dedicated the lobby of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles as the "Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby" in his honor.
Board and diplomatic service
Poitier was first married to Juanita Hardy from April 29, 1950, until 1965. Poitier became a resident of Mount Vernon in Westchester County, New York in 1956, though they raised their family in Stuyvesant, New York, in a house on the Hudson River. In 1959, Poitier began a nine-year affair with actress Diahann Carroll. He married Joanna Shimkus, a Canadian actress who starred with Poitier in The Lost Man in 1969, on January 23, 1976, and they remained married for the rest of his life. He had four daughters with his first wife (Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, and Gina) and two with his second (Anika and Sydney Tamiia). In addition to his six daughters, Poitier had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in September 2019, Poitier's family had 23 missing relatives.
Death and tributes
On January 6, 2022, Poitier died at his home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 94. His death was confirmed by Fred Mitchell, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas.
Upon his death many released statements honoring Poitier including President Joe Biden who wrote in part, "With unflinching grandeur and poise – his singular warmth, depth, and stature on-screen – Sidney helped open the hearts of millions and changed the way America saw itself." Former president Barack Obama paid tribute to Poitier calling him "a singular talent who epitomized dignity and grace". Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton also released statements.
Many in the entertainment industry also paid tribute to Poitier including Martin Scorsese who wrote, "For years, the spotlight was on Sidney Poitier. He had a vocal precision and physical power and grace that at moments seemed almost supernatural." Denzel Washington wrote, "It was a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentle man and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years." Harry Belafonte, Morgan Freeman, Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Lupita Nyong'o, Halle Berry, Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Octavia Spencer, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Esposito, Quincy Jones, and Ron Howard also paid tribute.
Awards and honors
Poitier became the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field (1963). He also received a Grammy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a British Academy Film Award. He received numerous honoraries during his lifetime including the Academy Honorary Award for his lifetime achievement in film in 2001. In 1992, Poitier received the AFI Life Achievement Award. In 1994, Poitier received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1981, he received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award and in 2016 he received the BAFTA Fellowship.
In 1995, Poitier received the Kennedy Center Honor and in 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. He was also named an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1986, he gave the Commencement Address to the University of Miami graduating class and was given the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.
Poitier was described as an icon in his obituary by USA Today. Laura Jacobs for Vanity Fair hailed Poitier as the "Martin Luther King Jr. of the movies". Several film historians and journalists have called him Hollywood's first African-American film star. The New York Times noted after his death, that Poitier was instrumental for the diversity of Hollywood and "paved the way for Black actors in film". The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Poitier was the first actor to star in mainstream Hollywood movies that depicted a Black man in a non-stereotypical fashion, and his influence, especially during the 1950s and '60s as role model and image-maker, was immeasurable."
While presenting Poitier the Honorary Academy Award in 2002, Denzel Washington said of Poitier: "Before Sidney, African American actors had to take supporting roles in major studio films that were easy to cut out in certain parts of the country. But you couldn't cut Sidney Poitier out of a Sidney Poitier picture". He was an influential African-American actor and highly viewed as such as he became the first Black actor to be nominated for an Academy Award and the first Black male actor to win the award. He was also described as the "sole representative" of African-Americans in mainstream cinema during the 1950s and 1960s, especially during the height of the American Civil Rights movement. The New York Times noted that Poitier was "an ambassador to white America and a benign emblem of Black power". For his role in diversifying Hollywood and for his role in paving the way for further Black actors, he was described as one of "the most important figures of 20th century Hollywood".
Former president of the United States Barack Obama noted that Poitier had "[advanced] the nation's dialogue on race and respect" and "opened doors for a generation of actors".
Works about Poitier
Poitier wrote three autobiographical books:
- This Life (1980)
- The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (2000)
- Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter (2008, an Oprah's Book Club selection)
Poitier is also the subject of the biography Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon (2004) by historian Aram Goudsouzian.
Poitier wrote the novel Montaro Caine, released in May 2013.
Films about Poitier
- Say How? A Pronunciation Guide to Names of Public Figures, Library of Congress
- Kaufman, Dave (April 14, 1964). "Sidney Poitier First Black Ever To Receive 'Best Actor' Oscar". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- Bill Goodykoontz (February 25, 2014). "Oscar win proved Sidney Poitier was second to none". Usatoday.com. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Awards for Sidney Poitier at IMDb
- "Top Ten Money Making Stars". Quigley Publishing Co. Archived from the original on January 14, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
- "Award of Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) to Sidney Poitier, actor... | The National Archives". Discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- "Sidney Poitier to be Honoured with BAFTA Fellowship". BAFTA. January 12, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- "Legendary Actor Sidney Poitier Dead at 94". NBC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- McCann, Ruth; Anne E. Kornblut (September 13, 2009). "Sidney Poitier, Sen. Ted Kennedy Among 16 Who Receive Medal of Freedom". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "Sidney Poitier". goldenglobes.com. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "THE 6TH ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS". sagawards.org. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "Sidney Poitier awards: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards database". Awardsdatabase.oscars.org. January 29, 2010. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Grimes, William (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, Who Paved the Way for Black Actors in Film, Dies at 94". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Poitier, Sidney (1980). This Life. US, Canada: Knopf (US), Random House (Canada). pp. 2, 5.
At this point [his father, Reginald Poitier] still had four boys and two girls (quite a few to make it through)... (2); When Reginald and Evelyn Poitier returned to Cat Island from Miami, carrying me—the new baby they now called 'Sidney'—they were greeted by their six children... my older brother Cyril, fifteen; Ruby, thirteen; Verdon (Teddy) [female], eleven; Reginald, eight; Carl, five; and Cedric, three. (5)
- Goudsouzian, Aram (April 25, 2004). "'Sidney Poitier'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
- "Davis Smiley interviews Sidney Poitier". PBS. Archived from the original on March 16, 2009.
- Adam Gourmand, Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon (2004), pg. 8.
- "Bio – Sidney Poitier". Archived from the original on May 6, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
- Aram Goudsouzian (2004). Goudsouzian, Aram (ed.). Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon. University of North Carolina Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8078-2843-4.
- Meyers, Allan D. (2015), "Striking for Freedom: The 1831 Uprising at Golden Grove Plantation, Cat Island", The International Journal of Bahamian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1.
- "Sidney Poitier". Oprah's Master Class. Season 1. Episode 7. April 22, 2012. Oprah Winfrey Network. Archived from the original on October 27, 2013.
- Poitier, Sidney. The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography. (2000). New York. HarperCollins.
- Winfrey, Oprah (October 15, 2000). "Oprah Talks to Sidney Poitier". The Oprah Winfrey Show. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
I come from a Catholic family.
- Poitier, Sidney (2009). Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter. HarperCollins. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-06-149620-2.
The question of God, the existence or nonexistence, is a perennial question, because we don't know. Is the universe the result of God, or was the universe always there?
- Sidney Poitier (2009). Life Beyond Measure. HarperCollins. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-06-173725-1.
I don't see a God who is concerned with the daily operation of the universe. In fact, the universe may be no more than a grain of sand compared with all the other universes.... It is not a God for one culture, or one religion, or one planet.
- "Sidney Poitier Biography and Interview". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement. February 17, 2009.
- Goudsouzian, Aram (2004), Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-0-8078-2843-4, p. 44.
- Sidney Poitier: The 2013 "Sunday Morning" interview, retrieved January 10, 2022
- Bergman, Carol (1988). Sidney Poitier. Chelsea House Publishers. pp. 54–56. ISBN 978-1-55546-605-3.
- Poitier, Sidney. The Measure of a Man (2000). New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
- Chenrow, Fred; Chenrow, Carol (1974). Reading Exercises in Black History. Elizabethtown, PA: The Continental Press, Inc. p. 46. ISBN 0-8454-2108-5.
- Missourian; Sidney Poitier; pp. 69, 133.
- Poitier, Sidney (2000). The Measure of a Man (First ed.). San Francisco: Harper. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-0-06-135790-9.
- Buckner, Jocelyn (2015). "Sidney Poitier". In Williams, Simon (ed.). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stage Actors and Acting. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 456. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- Smith, Judith E. "Finding a New Home in Harlem: Alice Childress and the Committee for the Negro in the Arts". ScholarWorks. University of Massachusetts Boston. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- "No Way Out". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "'No Way Out' and the Best of "Social Message" Film Noir". Film School Rejects. November 21, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Grant, Nicholas (January 1, 2014). "Crossing the Black Atlantic: The Global Antiapartheid Movement and the Racial Politics of the Cold War". Radical History Review. 2014 (119): 72–93. doi:10.1215/01636545-2401951 – via read.dukeupress.edu.
- Geier, Thom (January 7, 2022). "10 Essential Sidney Poitier Movies, From 'Blackboard Jungle' to 'To Sir, With Love' (Photos)". Yahoo. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Powers, Philip (2020). Sidney Poitier Black and White: Sidney Poitier's Emergence in the 1960s as a Black Icon (First ed.). Sydney: 1M1 Digital. p. 102. ISBN 979-8-56-763871-2.
- Canby, Vincent (April 29, 1972). "Poitier Directs 'Buck and the Preacher'". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Sharf, Zack (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier's Best Films: 13 Movies Now Streaming Online". Variety. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Crowther, Bosley, "Screen: A Forceful Social Drama; ' The Defiant Ones' Has Debut at Victoria" (review), The New York Times, September 25, 1958. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- "The Defiant Ones" (review), Variety, December 31, 1957. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- Alter, Rebecca (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, Trailblazing Oscar Winner and Activist, Dead at 94". Vulture. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier's BAFTA wins and nominations". BAFTA.org. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Corley, Cheryl, "'A Raisin in the Sun', Present at the Creation", National Public Radio, March 11, 2002. Archived July 4, 2017, at the Wayback Machine.
- Rich, Frank (October 5, 1983). "Theater: 'Raisin in Sun,' Anniversary in Chicago". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 21, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- "Porgy and Bess". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- McGreevy, Nora; McGreevy, Nora. "How Sidney Poitier Rewrote the Script for Black Actors in Hollywood". Smithsonian Magazine.
- "Sidney Poitier". Golden Globes. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Paris Blues". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Lilies of the Field". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Fisher, Luchina (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, 1st Black man to win best actor Oscar, dies at 94". ABC News. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Harris, Mark (2008). Pictures at a Revolution: Five Films and the Birth of a New Hollywood. Penguin Press. pp. 58–9. ISBN 978-1-59420-152-3.
- Harris 2008, pp. 81–2.
- Goudsouzian, Aram, Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon, The University of North Carolina Press, 2004, p. 395.
- "The Bedford Incident (1965)". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "The Greatest Story Ever Told". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "A Patch of Blue". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Watson, Walter Ray (January 7, 2022). "Sir, we loved you: Sidney Poitier dies at 94". NPR. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Cinema: Class War". Time. June 30, 1967. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "'Heat of Night' Scores With Crix; Quick B.O. Pace". Variety. August 9, 1967. p. 3.
- Ebert, Roger (December 15, 2004). "Ebert's 10 Best Lists: 1967 to Present". rogerebert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2016 – via Internet Archive.
- Ebert, Roger (December 31, 1967). "The Best 10 Movies of 1967". rogerebert.comrogerebert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 18, 2016 – via Internet Archive.
- Murphy, A.D. (June 21, 1967). "Film Reviews: In The Heat Of The Night". Variety. p. 6. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". Rogerebert.com. January 25, 1968. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
- Powers, Philip, "Sidney Poitier Black and White", 1M1 Digital, Sydney, 2020, p.210
- Harris 2008, p. 161.
- Bleiler, David (2013). TLA Film and Video Guide 2000–2001: The Discerning Film Lover's Guide. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-1-4668-5940-1.
- Maltin, Leonard; Sader, Luke; Clark, Mike (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. Penguin. p. 681. ISBN 978-0-452-28978-9.
- Thompson, Bennie G. (March 10, 2004). "Etension of Remarks: A Tribute to Ms. Beulah "Beah" Richards". Congressional Record. Government Printing Office. 150 (3): 2872.
- Ebiri, Bilge (February 14, 2017). "Get Out's Jordan Peele Brings the 'Social Thriller' to BAM | Village Voice". Village Voice. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- Nye, Doug (January 18, 2001). "Sidney Poitier's "Tibbs Trilogy" Out On DVD". Greensboro News. Knight Ridder. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Earl G. Graves, Ltd. (December 2000). Black Enterprise. Earl G. Graves, Ltd. p. 108.
- "Buck and the Preacher". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Buck and the Preacher". AFI. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "A Warm December". TMC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Uptown Saturday Night". Black Classic Movies. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Vadala, Nick (February 4, 2015). "Report: Sidney Poitier 'disgusted' with Bill Cosby over sexual assault allegations". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Canby, Vincent (February 15, 1985). "FILM: FAST FORWARD,' BY POITIER". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Ebert, Roger (February 12, 1988). "Shoot to Kill Review". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Cryer, Vanessa (December 19, 2021). "Sneakers: Robert Redford and River Phoenix nerd out in 1992's prescient, high-tech caper". The Guardian. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Schulz, Rick (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, Oscar Winner Who Helped Tear Down Racial Barriers, Dies at 94". Variety. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn". Variety. May 7, 1999. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier". Television Academy. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier – Artist". grammys.com. November 23, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- Jackson, Katharine (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, first Black actor to win best actor Academy Award, dies at 94 -Bahamian official". Reuters. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- O'Neil, Tom (New York, 2003), "Movie Awards: The Ultimate, Unofficial Guide to the Oscars. Golden Globes, Critics, Guild and Indi Honors", Berkley Publishing Group, p. 761.
- Lauren Moraski (July 10, 2012). "Ernest Borgnine's death makes Sidney Poitier the oldest living best actor Oscar winner". Celebrity Circuit. CBS News. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
- Kessler, Felix; Bloomberg (January 7, 2022). "Beloved Hollywood actor Sidney Poitier dies at 94". Fortune. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Stolworthy, Jacob (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier death: First Black man to win Best Actor Oscar dies aged 94". Yahoo News. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Feinberg, Scott (August 30, 2021). "Academy Museum Dedicates Grand Lobby to Sidney Poitier". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Farrell, Rita K. (August 12, 2004). "Actor Takes Center Stage as Disney Trial Grinds On". The New York Times.
- Sidney Poitier Biography Archived July 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine AETN UK. The Biography Channel. 2005–11. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "New play about Sidney Poitier in development for Broadway run". Broadway News. December 7, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- Nichelle Rascoe (January 18, 2018). "A Timeline of Black History in Westchester". Westchester Magazine. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
- "Stuyvesant Outdoor Adventures". Stuyvesant Outdoor Adventures. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Armstrong, Louis (August 4, 1980). "Guess Who's Coming to Terms at Last with His Kids, Racial Politics and Life? Sidney Poitier". People.
- "Miss Beverly Marie Poitier Bride of William J. Q. Mould". September 6, 1970 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Poitier-Henderson Holds Book Signing – WLBT 3 – Jackson, MS". Wlbt.com. August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Feuer, Alan (February 12, 2005), "Hundreds Mourn Ossie Davis in Harlem", The New York Times.
- "Daughters of King, Malcolm X Also Have a Message". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. April 9, 1988. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "Atlanta News, Sports, Atlanta Weather, Business News | ajc.com". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Dan Shaw (May 21, 1994). "Chronicle – New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "Advice For Upn: Get Rid Of 'Abby' – New York Daily News". Articles.nydailynews.com. August 9, 1969. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Sidney Poitier children and grandchildren. BIFF.
- Dixon, Hayley; Millward, David; Maximin, Colin (September 8, 2019). "Hurricane Dorian: more than 23 members of Sidney Poitier's family missing". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- Stolworthy, Jacob (January 7, 2022). "Legendary actor Sidney Poitier, first Black man to win Best Actor Oscar, dies aged 94". The Independent. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Italie, Hillel (January 7, 2022). "Oscar winner and groundbreaking star Sidney Poitier dies". Associated Press. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier, who helped break down Hollywood's on-screen color barriers and made history as the first African American to win an Academy Award for best actor, has died". Los Angeles Times. January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier: Regal Star of the Big Screen passes away at 94". Web News Observer. January 8, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- Pulver, Andrew. "Sidney Poitier, Black acting pioneer, dies aged 94". The Guardian. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
- "Joe Biden Says Sidney Poitier "Changed The Way America Saw Itself"; Barack Obama Praises "Singular Talent" – Update". Deadline Hollywood. January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- "'Legacy to behold': Joe Biden, Denzel Washington, Martin Scorsese honor trailblazer Sidney Poitier". USA Today. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- "Hollywood Honors Sidney Poitier: 'One of the Greatest Actors of His Generation'". Variety. January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- Grimes, William (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, Who Paved the Way for Black Actors in Film, Dies at XX". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "BAFTA: Sidney Poitier". awards.bafta.org. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "Video: Sidney Poitier Accepts the 20th AFI Life Achievement Award in 1992". AFI. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier". Hollywood Walk of Fame. October 25, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Cecil B. DeMille Award Winners: Every Star Who's Ever Earned the Golden Globes' Big Honor". People. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sir Sidney Poitier: BAFTA Fellowship in 2016". BAFTA. January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Cass, Connie (September 5, 1995). "Kennedy Center Honors Neil Simon, B.B. King, Sidney Poitier". Associated Press. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "Presidential Medal of Freedom". CBS. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "Sidney Poitier: Hollywood trailblazer dies aged 94". BBC News. January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
- "Honorary Degree Recipients". commencement.miami.edu. University of Miami. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Yasharoff, Hannah (January 7, 2022). "Trailblazing star Sidney Poitier, first Black man to win best actor Oscar, dies at 94". USA Today. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Jacobs, Laura (February 1, 2017). "Sidney Poitier, 1967, and One of the Most Remarkable Runs in Hollywood History". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Grimes, William (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, Who Paved the Way for Black Actors in Film, Dies at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier, Hollywood's First Major Black Movie Star, Dies At 94". NDTV. January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Byrge, Duane; Mike Barnes (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier, Regal Star of the Big Screen, Dies at 94". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Howard, Adam (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier has many legacies, but his acting should not be lost among them". The Grio. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Howard, Adam (April 6, 2016). "Sidney Poitier legacy still looms large in post-#OscarsSoWhite era". MSNBC. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Bose, Swapnil Dhruv (January 7, 2022). "Sidney Poitier: The man who changed the face of Hollywood forever". Far Out Magazine. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Johnson, Ted (January 7, 2022). "Barack Obama Pays Tribute To Sidney Poitier: 'Epitomized Dignity And Grace'". Deadline. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "This Life". Good Reads. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography". Good Reads. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter". Good Reads. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Goudsouzian, Aram. Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon (2004). University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0807828434.
- "Montaro Caine". Good Reads. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light, An "American Masters" Special; Interview with James Earl Jones". American Archive. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- "SIDNEY POITIER, UN OUTSIDER A HOLLYWOOD". Toronto Film Fest. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Official publisher web page
- Poitier breaks new ground with Oscar win (BBC News, April 13, 1964)
- The Purpose Prize: Sidney Poitier
- Overview of Sidney Poitier's life
- Sidney Poitier at IMDb
- Artist of the Month: Sidney Poitier at Hyena Productions
- Sidney Poitier films ranked from worst to best
- Image of Sidney Poitier holding his Oscar alongside Gregory Peck, Annabella and Anne Bancroft backstage at the Academy Awards, Los Angeles, 1964. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive (Collection 1429). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.