Former US president Barack Obama pays tribute to recently demised actor Sidney Poitier who was the first black man to win Best Actor Oscar.
Following the death of the groundbreaking actor and cultural icon, former US president Obama said in a statement, “Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together. He also opened doors for a generation of actors.”
The Bahamian-American star was the first black man to win the Oscar for best actor and was known for films, including ‘In the Heat of the Night’, ‘Blackboard Jungle’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner'.
The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis, also reflected on Poitier’s legacy in a press conference.
He said, “Our whole Bahamas grieves. But even as we mourn, we celebrate the life of a great Bahamian,” adding, “A cultural icon, an actor and film director, civil and human rights activist and a diplomat.”
In 2009, Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to Poitier during a ceremony at the White House.