SUITE7beautyTALK

There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.

Happy Birthday Sydney….

Sydney Poitier

Today is Sydney Poitier‘s 86th birthday

Sir Poitier (as I like to call him) is the epitome of an actor with integrity, grace, dignity and uncompromising self-respect. As a kid of the 80s & early 90s, I loved watching American Movie Classics, and I quickly became a fan of his work. Sir Poitier hailed from a time of social injustice, disparaging racial climates, where he battled his way through an industry that would rather have him clean the floors than win an Oscar, and yet he prevailed.

He might have started his career as an actor who would go on to star in 48 films, but he also directed several others, before moving into a new direction as a published author.

Some of his career highlights include:

  • First black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field – 1963.
  • Top box-office star of 1967 with the release of three successful films: To Sir With Love, In The Heat of the Night, and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.
  • After a string of successful roles and positive portrayals, Poitier endured criticism for being typecast as over-idealized black characters who were not permitted to have any sexuality or personality faults, such as his character in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. Poitier was fully aware of this pattern in his casting, but felt somewhat torn on the matter: while he desired more variety, he also felt it was his duty to set good examples and defy stereotypes, as he was the only major black actor in the American film industry at the time. Talk about pressure! It was with this conviction that he refused the 1966 role of Othello produced by NBC. In 2001, Poitier received an Honorary Academy Award for his overall contribution to American cinema.

Personally, I appreciate Sydney’s positive character portrayal all those years. I’m sure he endured much negativity behind the scenes, considering his success, morality and the boiling point of the civil rights movement. He was definitely a pioneer in his art and humanity.

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films…

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Sydney Poitier wins Best Actor for Lillies of the Field

2 comments on “Happy Birthday Sydney….

  1. Delia
    February 21, 2013

    Hello, I just awarded you to Liebster Blog Award. ^^
    http://shimmeryblack.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/liebster-blog-award/

    • suite7beautytalk
      February 21, 2013

      Delia, I am so flattered to receive this! I read your post & plan to respond in kind tomorrow…. : )

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