Sidney Poitier, trailblazing Oscar winner, dies at age 94


Actor Sidney Poitier presenting “In the Heat of the Night” at Target Presents AFI’s Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AFI)

LOS ANGELES — Sidney Poitier, the star of classic Hollywood films who became the first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, has died at age 94.

The beloved actor and activist’s death was confirmed to Fox News and other outlets Friday by the Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office.

Poitier’s landmark achievement came for his role in the 1963 film “Lilies of the Field.” His Oscar win also made him the first Bahamian to win the top prize for a leading role.

Over the course of seven decades, Poitier starred in a series of well-loved films including “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Uptown Saturday Night.”

Beloved in his native Bahamas, Poitier served as his nation’s ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2007. He was also a vocal civil rights advocate and active critic of stereotypical roles for Black performers and other people of color.

Poitier received two more Academy Award nominations and ten Golden Globe noms. In 2001, he received an honorary Oscar for his acting and humanitarian work.

NewsNation’s Sydney Kalich contributed to this report.

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