Sidney Poitier (b. 1927-) grew up poor in the Bahamas as a son of farmers. At 15, he was sent to Miami to live w his brother, to avoid delinquency in Bahamas. The racial chasm in the U.S. shocked him; he vowed to overcome it. At 18, he went to NYC, did menial jobs, then, the Negro Theatre. He worked hard to lose his accent and learn acting. By 1950, he was offered leading stage & film roles. In ’63, he won the Oscar for ‘Lilies of the Field’.
Oscars: April 13, 1964: April 13, 1964 Best picture: ‘Tom Jones’ Jack Lemmon hosts in Santa Monica. “Tom Jones” is the only film in history to get three supporting actress nominations. Sidney Poitier’s win is greeted with a roar of approval. Actor: Sidney Poitier, “Lilies of the Field” Actress: Patricia Neal, “Hud” Supporting actor: Melvyn Douglas, “Hud” Supporting actress: Margaret Rutherford, “The V.I.P.’s” Director: Tony Richardson, “Tom Jones”
The tall, handsome and gifted Sidney Poitier was the first African American superstar; the first black actor to earn a best actor Oscar for 1963’s “Lilies of the Field” and the first to be the top box-office draw in 1968.