ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Sidney Poitier, the trailblazing actor whose career opened doors for Black Americans in Hollywood, has died aged 94.
Poitier's death was confirmed by officials in the Bahamas where he lived prior to his death. Additional details, including a cause of death, were not immediately available.
Bahamanian Prime Minister Philip Davis hailed Poitier as a "great Bahamian: a cultural icon, an actor and film director, an entrepreneur, civil and human rights activist."
"We admire the man, not just because of his colossal achievements, but also because of who he was: his strength of character; his willingness to stand up and be counted; and the way he plotted and navigated his life’s journey," Davis said in remarks broadcast on social media.
In addition to breaking multiple barriers for Black actors seeking to hit the big screen, Poitier was the first Black man and first Bahamanian to win an Oscar for best lead actor in 1964 for his role in "Lilies of the Field." In that film he portrayed a handyman who helped East German nuns build a chapel.
Poitier's on-screen credits include nearly five dozen films that hit screens from the 1940's to the 2000's. They include "The Defiant Ones," "The Greatest Story Ever Told," and "A Patch of Blue." He also had a handful of director credits.