Date of Birth: February 20th 1927
Academy Award-winning American actor, film director, and activist. He broke through as a star in acclaimed performances in American films and plays, which, by consciously defying racial stereotyping, gave a new dramatic credibility for black actors to mainstream film audiences in the Western world.
Poitier has also directed a number of popular movies such as Uptown Saturday Night, and Let's Do It Again (with friend Bill Cosby), and Stir Crazy (starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder). In 2002, 38 years after receiving the Best Actor Award, Poitier was chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive the Honorary Award in recognition of his "extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence."
There are two theories as to where Sidney Poitier was born. By his own account he was born in The Bahamas and later moved to the United States. He related this description of events after accepting an award. By other accounts, he was born on at sea en route to Miami, Florida, where his Bahamian parents traveled to sell tomatoes and other produce from their farm on tiny Cat Island. Poitier was born prematurely and was not originally expected to survive the boat ride; his birth was recorded in Miami (though he may not have been born there), as the vessel was already closer to Florida. He spent his early years on remote Cat Island, which had a population of 1,500 and no electricity.