Sidney Poitier, who passed away on January 7 at the age of 94, has died of heart failure. This is evident from the death certificate of the actor, which TMZ has seen.
It also shows that he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and had prostate cancer. These illnesses would not be the direct cause of his death.
Poitier was the first black actor ever to win an Oscar for Best Lead Actor. He received an Oscar in 1963 for his role in Lilies of the Field . In 1958 he was already nominated for the prestigious prize.
In 2002 Poitier was again awarded an Oscar: an honorary Oscar for his “outstanding performance, his unique appearance on the silver screen, his style and his intelligence as a representative of the film industry”.
The actor was considered one of the first major black movie stars to play dramatic roles, which at the time were mainly played by white actors. With this he broke through the barriers of the Hollywood of the fifties and sixties.
Actor received several important awards
In many of the films in which Poitier has starred, racial discrimination is the main theme. In perhaps his best-known film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), he plays the future son-in-law of a white couple. In that film, he was the first black man in a Hollywood film to kiss a white woman, albeit that the scene was filmed through the rear-view mirror of a taxi.
In 1974 Poitier was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-US President Barack Obama, the highest award bestowed upon US citizens.