Poitier was accorded the honor of knighthood in 1969 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. He is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and has been honored with five Image Awards from the NAACP. He is also currently serving as Ambassador to Japan from the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
Poitier was born in Miami, Florida and grew up on Cat Island in the Bahamas. Educated in Nassau, he returned at age 15 to the United States, and moved to New York. Poitier enlisted in the Army where he served in World War II with the 126-27th Medical Detachment as a physiotherapist. After the war, Poitier returned to New York where he joined the American Negro Theatre, working backstage in exchange for acting lessons.
His first professional theatrical role was in Lysistrata, followed by Freight and Anna Lucasta. Poitier initiated the role of Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway.
Poitier is renowned for his consistently sensitive and powerful portrayals in such socially charged films as No Way Out, Blackboard Jungle, Something of Value, The Defiant Ones, Pressure Points, A Patch of Blue, To Sir With Love, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and The Wilby Conspiracy. He is also an accomplished director, having made his directorial debut with Buck and The Preacher, in which he costarred with Harry Belafonte. His other directorial credits include A Warm December, Uptown Saturday Night, Stir Crazy, Hanky Panky, and Fast Forward.
Most recently, Poitier received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Mandela & DeKlerk, for Showtime.
Sidney Poitier Facts
|Birthday||February 20, 1927 (94)|
|Birthplace||Miami, Florida, USA|
|Height||6' 2½" (1m89) How tall is Sidney Poitier compared to you?|
|Awards||2002 Academy Awards: Honorary Award|
|2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award|
|1965 Academy Awards: Best Actor (for Lilies of the Field)|
|1964 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Lilies of the Field)|
|To Sir, With Love|
|In The Heat Of The Night|
|A Raisin In The Sun|
|Guess Who's Coming to Dinner|
|Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley|