“Forgotten Hollywood”- To Sidney With Love…

Posted on January 7, 2022 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Sidney Poitier was a trailblazing actor with a dignified career that redefined the Black experience on screen. His career highlights were plentiful, including performances in The Blackboard Jungle, The Defiant Ones, Raisin in the SunPorgy and Bess, The Bedford Incident, In the Heat of the Night, A Patch of Blue, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, To Sir with Love, For the Love of Ivy, Sneakers and an Oscar-winning turn in Lilies of the Field (the initial Black male actor to earn this honor). Poitier has been compared to Jackie Robinson for his groundbreaking work in film.    SIDNEY POITIER –>

“`Born in Miami, Poitier grew up in the Bahamas before he moved to New York at sixteen. He fibbed about his age to sign up for a stint in the Army  and then he worked at odd jobs while taking acting lessons. The young actor got his first break when he met the casting director of the American Negro Theater and was hired as the understudy for Harry Belafonte in Days of Our Youth. A minor sensation on Broadway, his first movie role was in 1950 in the acclaimed No Way Out.  He portrayed a doctor.

“`For the next two decades, he began working in a string of intelligent dramas. Poitier picked his parts with care,  burying the tired Hollywood notion that Black actors could appear only in demeaning contexts as shoeshine boys, train conductors and maids. After his success with In the Heat of the Night, he played Virgil Tibbs in a couple of crime films. Poitier later directed Buck and the Preacher, Uptown Saturday Night and Stir Crazy.

“`He influenced many colleagues, such as Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Brock Peters, Woody Strode, and Ruby Dee.  Plus, his A-List co-stars included Clark Gable, Glenn Ford, Tony Curtis, Richard Widmark, Shelley Winters, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Redford and Rod Steiger. Great directors collaborated and they include William Wellman (his personal favorite), Raoul Walsh, Joseph Mankiewicz, Richard Brooks, Norman Jewison, and Stanley Kramer. Over the years,  Poitier earned honored comparisons to Belafonte, Marion Anderson, Paul Robeson, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison.

“`Assignments and accolades took up most of his later life. From 1995 to 2003, Poitier served as a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company.  In April, 1997, Poitier was appointed ambassador from the Bahamas to Japan, a position he held until 2007. He was concurrently the ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO. Along with his many acting awards, Poitier received a Kennedy Center Honor and 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.  The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences just last year dedicated within the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles — the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby in his honor.

“`His life-long friend was Belafonte. Belafonte always lamented that he craved to be a serious actor like Poitier;  while Sidney secretly want a career as a crooner, something Harry enjoyed. And so it goes…

“`Sir Sidney Poitier was ninety-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Friday, January 7th, 2022 at 12:46 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.