1. Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE , is a Bahamian- American actor, film director, author and diplomat.
2. In 2002, thirty-eight years after receiving the Best Actor Award, Poitier was chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award, in recognition of his “remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being.”
3. From 1997 to 2007, he served as the non-resident Bahamian ambassador to Japan. In 2016 he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film.
4. Reginald worked as a cab driver in Nassau, Bahamas. Poitier was born in Miami while his parents were visiting.
5. His birth was two months premature and he was not expected to survive, but his parents remained in Miami for three months to nurse him to health. Poitier grew up in the Bahamas, then a British Crown colony.
6. But because of his birth in the United States, he automatically received American citizenship. and were probably part of the runaway slaves who had established maroon communities throughout the Bahamas, including Cat Island.
7. He mentions that the surname Poitier is a French name, and there were no white Poitiers from the Bahamas.
8. Poitier lived with his family on Cat Island until he was 10, when they moved to Nassau.
9. At the age of 15, he was sent to Miami to live with his brother.
10. At the age of 17, he moved to New York City and held a string of jobs as a dishwasher.
11. A Jewish waiter sat with him every night for several weeks helping him learn to read the newspaper.
12. Poitier joined the American Negro Theater, but was rejected by audiences.
13. On his second attempt at the theater, he was noticed and given a leading role in the Broadway production Lysistrata, for which he received good reviews.
14. By the end of 1949, he had to choose between leading roles on stage and an offer to work for Darryl F. Zanuck in the film No Way Out .
15. His performance in No Way Out, as a doctor treating a Caucasian bigot , was noticed and led to more roles, each considerably more interesting and more prominent than those most African American actors of the time were offered.