Sidney Poitier Biography (1927-)

Born February 20, 1927, in Miami, FL; raised in Nassau, Bahamas; son of Reginald James (a tomato farmer) and Evelyn (a tomato farmer; maiden name, Outten)Poitier; married Juanita Hardy (a dancer), April 29, 1950 (divorced, 1965);married Joanna Shimkus (an actress), January 23, 1976; children: (first marriage) Beverly Poitier Henderson, Pamela, Sherri, Gina; (second marriage) Anika, Sydney Tamiia (an actress). Addresses: Agent: Martin Baum, CreativeArtists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Nationality
American
Gender
Male
Occupation
Actor, director, producer, executive
Birth Details
February 20, 1927
Miami, Florida, United States

Famous Works

  • CREDITS
  • Film Appearances
  • From Whom Cometh My Help (documentary short film), U.S. Army Signal Corps, 1949
  • Dr. Luther Brooks, No Way Out, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950
  • Reverend Msimangu, Cry, the Beloved Country (also known as African Fury), Lopert, 1952
  • Corporal Andrew Robertson, Red Ball Express, Universal, 1952
  • Inman Jackson, Go, Man, Go!, United Artists, 1954
  • Gregory W. Miller, The Blackboard Jungle, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1955
  • Gates, Goodbye, My Lady (also known as The Boy and the LaughingDog), Warner Bros., 1956
  • Tommy Tyler, Edge of the City (also known as A Man Is Ten FeetTall), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1957
  • Kimani Wa Karanja, Something of Value (also known as Africa Ablaze), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1957
  • Rau-Ru, Band of Angels, Warner Bros., 1957
  • Noah Cullen, The Defiant Ones, United Artists, 1958
  • Oban, The Mark of the Hawk (also known as Accused), Universal, 1958
  • Porgy, Porgy and Bess, Columbia, 1959
  • Sergeant Eddie Towler, All the Young Men, Columbia, 1960
  • Marcus, Virgin Island (also known as Our Virgin Island), Films-around-the-World, 1960
  • Eddie Cook, Paris Blues, United Artists, 1961
  • Walter Lee Younger, A Raisin in the Sun, Columbia, 1961
  • Doctor, Pressure Point, United Artists, 1962
  • Homer Smith, Lilies of the Field, United Artists, 1963
  • Aly Mansuh, The Long Ships (also known as Dugi brodovi), Columbia, 1964
  • Ben Munceford, The Bedford Incident, Columbia, 1965
  • Simon of Cyrene, The Greatest Story Ever Told (also known as George Stevens Presents the Greatest Story Ever Told), United Artists, 1965
  • Gordon Ralfe, A Patch of Blue, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1965
  • Alan Newell, The Slender Thread, Paramount, 1965
  • Toller, Ralph Nelson's Duel at Diablo (also known as Duel at Diablo), United Artists, 1966
  • John Wade Prentice, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Columbia, 1967
  • Detective Virgil Tibbs, In the Heat of the Night, United Artists,1967
  • Mark Thackeray, To Sir, with Love, Columbia, 1967
  • Jack Parks, For Love of Ivy, Cinerama, 1968
  • Jason Higgs, The Lost Man, Universal, 1969
  • Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs, They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, United Artists, 1970
  • Narrator, King: A Filmed Record ... Montgomery to Memphis, Marion,1970
  • John Kane, Brother John, Columbia, 1971
  • Detective Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs, The Organization, United Artists, 1971
  • Buck, Buck and the Preacher, Columbia, 1972
  • Dr. Matt Younger, A Warm December, National General, 1973
  • Steve Jackson, Uptown Saturday Night, Warner Bros., 1974
  • Clyde Williams, Let's Do It Again, Warner Bros., 1975
  • Shack Twala, The Wilby Conspiracy, United Artists, 1975
  • Manny Durrell, A Piece of the Action, Warner Bros., 1977
  • Narrator, Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (also known as Paul Robeson: A Film Tribute), 1979
  • Warren Stantin, Shoot to Kill (also known as Deadly Pursuit), Buena Vista, 1988
  • Roy Parmenter, Little Nikita (also known as The Sleepers),Columbia, 1988
  • Donald Crease, Sneakers, Universal, 1992
  • World Beat, 1993
  • Himself, A Century of Cinema, 1994
  • Himself, Wild Bill, Hollywood Maverick: The Life and Times of WilliamA. Wellman, Wild Bill Pictures, 1995
  • Carter Preston, The Jackal (also known as Le chacal and Der Schakal), Universal, 1997
  • Reverend Msimangu (in archive footage), Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist, 1998
  • Film Director
  • Buck and the Preacher, Columbia, 1972
  • A Warm December, National General, 1973
  • Uptown Saturday Night, Warner Bros., 1974
  • Let's Do It Again, Warner Bros., 1975
  • A Piece of the Action, Warner Bros., 1977
  • Stir Crazy, Columbia, 1980
  • Hanky Panky, Columbia, 1982
  • Fast Forward, Columbia, 1985
  • Ghost Dad, Universal, 1990
  • Television Appearances
  • Miniseries
  • Thurgood Marshall, Separate But Equal, ABC, 1991
  • Gypsy Smith, Children of the Dust (also known as A Good Day toDie), CBS, 1995
  • Movies
  • Mark Thackeray, To Sir, with Love 2, CBS, 1996
  • Nelson Mandela, Mandela and de Klerk, Showtime, 1997
  • Dr. Jack Miller, Oprah Winfrey Presents: David and Lisa, ABC, 1998
  • Will Cleamons, Free of Eden, Showtime, 1999
  • Title role, The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn, CBS, 1999
  • Henry Cobb, The Last Brickmaker in America, CBS, 2001
  • Narrator, Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey, PBS, 2001
  • Specials
  • The American Film Institute Tenth Anniversary Special, CBS, 1977
  • The Night of 100 Stars II, ABC, 1985
  • The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katherine Hepburn, PBS, 1986
  • Narrator, Bopha!, PBS, 1987
  • The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 1989
  • Host, Voyager: Rendezvous with Neptune, TBS, 1989
  • The American Film Institute Salute to Gregory Peck, 1989
  • Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet to Come (also known as Frank Sinatra: 75th Birthday Celebration), CBS, 1990
  • Celebrate the Soul of American Music, syndicated, 1991
  • Back to School '92 (also known as Education First!), CBS, 1992
  • The American Film Institute Salute to Sidney Poitier (also known as The 20th Annual American Film Institute Life Achievement Award), NBC, 1992
  • The 19th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, syndicated, 1992
  • The American Film Institute Salute to Elizabeth Taylor, ABC, 1993
  • An American Reunion: New Beginnings, Renewed Hope (also known as An American Reunion: The People's Inaugural Celebration), HBO, 1993
  • Hollywood Stars: A Century of Cinema, The Disney Channel, 1995
  • Interviewee, James Earl Jones, Arts and Entertainment, 1995
  • The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, 1995
  • The Kennedy Center Honors, CBS, 1997
  • (In archive footage) Small Steps, Big Strides: The Black Experience inHollywood, AMC, 1998
  • League of Legends, 1998
  • An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of the Educational Excellence Benefiting the Negro College Fund, syndicated, 1999
  • "Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light," American Masters, PBS, 2000
  • Interviewee, Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters, Arts and Entertainment, 2000
  • The BBC and the BAFTA Tribute to Michael Caine, 2000
  • (In archive footage) Playboy: The Party Continues, 2000
  • Interviewee, Quincy Jones: In the Pocket, PBS, 2001
  • A Tribute to Barbra Streisand (also known as The 29th AmericanFilm Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Barbra Streisand), Fox, 2001
  • Muhammad Ali's All-Star 60th Birthday Celebration!, CBS, 2002
  • (Uncredited; in archive footage) Inside the Playboy Mansion, Artsand Entertainment, 2002
  • Awards Presentations
  • The 36th Annual Academy Awards, 1964
  • Presenter, The 37th Annual Academy Awards, 1965
  • Presenter, The 40th Annual Academy Awards, 1968
  • Presenter, The 41st Annual Academy Awards, 1969
  • The 22nd Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1990
  • Presenter, The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1991
  • The Great Ones: The National Sports Awards, NBC, 1993
  • The 1997 ESPY Awards, ABC and ESPN, 1997
  • The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998
  • The 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, TNT, 2000
  • The 32nd Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2001
  • The 74th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2002
  • The 10th Annual Trumpet Awards, TBS, 2002
  • Episodic
  • "Parole Chief," Philco Television Playhouse, NBC, 1952
  • Tommy Tyler, "A Man Is Ten Feet Tall," Philco Television Playhouse, NBC, 1955
  • "The Fascinating Stranger," Ponds Theatre (also known as KraftTelevision Theatre), ABC, 1955
  • "A Tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt on Her Diamond Jubilee," Sunday Showcase, NBC, 1959
  • Himself, Cinepanorama, 1961
  • The Strolling '20s, CBS, 1966
  • "A Time for Laughter," ABC Stage '67, ABC, 1967
  • The New Bill Cosby Show, CBS, 1972
  • Himself and Mecha-Poitier, "Mecha Streisand," South Park, Comedy Central, 1998
  • Guest, The Oprah Winfrey Show, syndicated, 2000
  • Guest on the series Changing Stages, PBS.
  • Television Work
  • Movies
  • Executive producer, Free of Eden, Showtime, 1999
  • Stage Appearances
  • (Stage debut) Days of Our Youth, American Negro Theatre Playhouse,New York City, 1945
  • (Broadway debut) Polydorus, Lysistrata, Belasco Theatre, 1946
  • On Striver's Row, American National Theatre Playhouse, New York City, 1946
  • Lester, Anna Lucasta, National Theatre, New York City, 1947
  • Walter Lee Younger, A Raisin in the Sun, Ethel Barrymore Theatre,New York City, 1959
  • The Night of 100 Stars II, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1985
  • Also appeared in productions of The Fisherman, Freight, Hidden Horizon, Rain, Riders to the Sea, Sepia Cinderella, and You Can't Take It with You, all with American Negro Theatre.
  • Major Tours
  • Lester, Anna Lucasta, U.S. cities, 1948
  • Stage Work
  • Director, Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1968
  • RECORDINGS
  • Audio Books
  • Narrator, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, by Sidney Poitier, Harper-Audio, 2000
  • Videos
  • The Directors: Norman Jewison, 1997
  • The Making of "Changing Lanes," 2002
  • WRITINGS
  • Books
  • This Life (autobiography), Knopf (New York City), 1980
  • (With Carol Bergman) The Films of Sidney Poitier, Chelsea House, 1988
  • The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, Harper San Francisco (San Francisco, CA), 2001

Further Reference

ADAPTATIONS

  • The screenplay For Love of Ivy, released by Cinerama in 1968, wasbased on an original story by Poitier.
OTHER SOURCES
    Books
    • Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 36, Gale, 2002
    • Ewers, Catharine, The Long Journey, Signet, 1969
    • Keyser, Lester J., and Andre H. Ruszkowski, The Cinema of Sidney Poitier, A. S. Barnes, 1980
    • Marill, Alvin H., The Films of Sidney Poitier, Citadel, 1978
    • Paige, David, Sidney Poitier, Creative Education, 1976
    • Poitier, Sidney, This Life, Knopf, 1980
    • Poitier, Sidney, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography,Harper San Francisco, 2001
    • St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, 2000
    Periodicals
    • American Film, September-October, 1991, p. 18
    • Entertainment Weekly, fall, 1996, p. 70; February 22, 2002, p. 110
    • Jet, December 18, 1995, p. 61; March 3, 1997, April 14, 1997, p 19; May 5, 1997, p. 6
    • Parade, November 1, 1998, p. 18; June 4, 2000, p. 21
    • Time, September 22, 1997, p. 103
    Other
    • "Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light" (television special), American Masters, PBS, 2000

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