Sidney Poitier, the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor, has died at the age of 94. The trailblazing actor, who was known as Hollywood's first Black movie star, passed away on Thursday (January 6), press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas confirmed.
Poitier had a groundbreaking film career that spanned decades. He paved the way for Black actors with his performances and his conscious decision to reject roles he felt were demeaning as he purposely chose to portray dignified and intelligent characters.
"(Blacks) were so new in Hollywood. There was almost no frame of reference for us except as stereotypical, one-dimensional characters," he once told Oprah Winfrey. "I had in mind what was expected of me -- not just what other Blacks expected but what my mother and father expected. And what I expected of myself."
Poitier won the Oscar of best actor in 1964 for his depiction of an ex-serviceman in Lilies of the Field. His groundbreaking accolades didn't stop there, Poitier was also the recipient of the Golden Globes' lifetime achievement honor in 1982; he was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995; he won a Grammy for narrating his autobiography, "The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography," which was published in 2000; and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Keep scrolling to see Poitier's life through the years.