Sidney Poitier Net Worth 2020, Bio, Age, Height

The importance of Sidney Poitier in cinema goes far beyond his excellent capacity as an interpreter.

His stellar status in the 50s and 60s broke the traditional black actor stereotype and influenced his characters in social awareness about racial conflict in a time of change in values ​​and attitudes.

Early Life

Poitier was born on February 20, 1927 in the city of Miami, Florida (United States), but shortly after his birth he left with his parents Reginald James and Evelyn to Cat Island to an island in the Bahamas where they both worked producing Tomatoes (Sidney was born in Miami after a family trip).

His childhood was quite tough, as he grew up in an environment characterized by poverty and crime. In order for his son to have better opportunities, his parents sent him to Miami, the city where his older brother Cyril already resided, with whom he grew up during his teenage years.

In Florida, and at age 15, he felt for the first time the harassment of racists, a fact that the young Poitier had not known on Cat Island, where the population was mostly black.

To escape from this situation, Sydney left for New York, a more cosmopolitan city where life began to be sought with small jobs until he enlisted in the army to work as a medical assistant in a veteran hospital in the middle of the Second Era. World War.

After the war, Poitier tried to become an actor. He tried to access the American Black Theater, but at his first audition he was rejected for his accent. This rejection encoded Sidney, who began to perfect his diction and work hard to lose the Caribbean accent.

In his second attempt he ended up joining the theater group and little by little he gained experience on the stages until he finished on Broadway, where he triumphed at the end of the 40s with the play “Lysistrata”, an adaptation with black performers of the famous text of Aristophanes .

Career Path

In 1950 he managed to get the producer Darryl F. Zanuck to choose him to intervene in the film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz “A Ray of Light” (1950), title starring Richard Widmark and Linda Darnell.

This start on the big screen was continued with secondary but significant roles in films such as “Promised Land” (1951) by Zoltan Korda or “Brothers Against The Danger” (1952), war film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Jeff Chandler.

In 1955, and working alongside Glenn Ford, he achieved his first important role. The film was titled “Seed Of Evil” (1955), a film directed by Richard Brooks that highlighted the violent climate of a public school in New York.

Sidney was one of the students. Later it could be seen in titles such as “Where the City Ends” (1957) by Martin Ritt, “The Free Slave” (1957) by Raoul Walsh or “Blood on Earth” (1957) by Richard Brooks.

In 1958 he reached stardom with “Fugitives” (1958), an anti-racist film directed by Stanley Kramer in which Poitier shared the spotlight with Tony Curtis. For this title he managed to be nominated for an Oscar in the category of best leading actor. The winner of the statuette was David Niven for “Separate Tables.”

The following years made Sidney Poitier the most important black actor in history, since his interpretive talent made all kinds of audiences approach the cinema to see his films.

The most prominent were “Porgy and Bess” (1959) by Otto Preminger, “A Moon in the Sun” (1961) by Daniel Petrie, “The Key to the Question” (1962) by Hubert Cornfield, “The Lilies of the Valley” (1963) by Ralph Nelson, “A Patch of Blue” (1965) by Guy Green, “State of Alarm” (1965) by James B. Harris, “Duel In Devil” (1966), western directed by Ralph Nelson, ” Rebellion In The Classrooms ”(1967) by James Clavell,“.

In The Heat Of The Night ”(1967), a Norman Jewison film based on a novel by John Ball in which he played the policeman Virgil Tibbs alongside Rod Steiger; “Guess Who’s Coming Tonight” (1967), Stanley Kramer’s film with the co-starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; or “A Man For Ivy” (1968) by Stanley Kramer.

His works in the 60s made Poitier one of the most prominent actors of the time, getting the Oscar for his performance in “Los Lirios Del Valle”, being the first black actor to get the prize in the category of best main actor His fellow nominees were Rex Harrison for “Cleopatra,” Albert Finney for “Tom Jones,” Paul Newman for “The Wildest Among Thousand,” and Richard Harris for “The Naive Wild.”

The 70s knew the decline as a Poitier actor, mainly due to the lower number of productions in which he appeared and their low importance. In this decade also he began his career as a director, started with the western “Buck and El Farsante” (1972), which Poitier himself co-starred with Harry Belafonte and Ruby Dee.

Subsequently he directed films such as “A Warm December” (1973), “Two Cheats With Luck” (1975) with Bill Cosby, “Locos De Remate” (1980), comedy starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, “Hanky ​​Panky” ( 1982), collaborating again with Wilder, or “Ghost Dad” (1990), a film with Bill Cosby as the main star.

Sidney Poitier married twice. The first with dancer Juanita Hardy (born 1931), with whom she remained between 1950 and 1965.

After breaking up with her first wife, she maintained a brief relationship with actress and singer Diahann Carroll to finally marry in 1973 with the blonde Canadian performer Joanna Shimkus (born 1943), whom Poitier met during the filming of “The Lost Man” (1969).

He has six daughters. Four with Juanita whom I call Beverly, Pamela, Sherri and Gina; and two with Joanna, named Anika and Sydney Tamiia. The latter is an actress and collaborated with Quentin Tarantino in her movie “Death Proof” (2007).

In 2002 Sidney Poitier received an honorary Oscar for his career as a whole. Actor and director. His father Reginald James and his mother Evelyn Qutten, are farmers from the Bahamas who, at the time of his birth, are in Miami to sell a batch of tomatoes.

It grows on Cat Island (Bahamas) in the poor parents’ farm. At thirteen he left school and at fifteen he moved to Miami, where his brother Cyril lives.

At eighteen he arrives in New York and, having done the most humble jobs to support himself and a brief spell in the Army, he decides to try his hand at the show by participating in an audition for the American Negro Theater.

Having failed to get the part he enrolled in an acting school and within a few months he was cast for a role in “Lysistrata”, a show presented on Broadway.

After making his way onto the stage, in 1950 he decided to give up the important theatrical roles to make his big screen debut in “White man you will live!” by Darryl F. Zanuck.

Since his debut he has received excellent reviews and a large number of leading roles in films such as “La muro di fango” (1958) by Stanley Kramer and “I gigli del campo” (1963) by Ralph Nelson, which earned him a first Oscar nomination for Best Actor and the Next Victory for the Statuette, with the double satisfaction of being the first African-American actor to win the highest world cinema award.

Between the 1960s and the 1970s he appeared in over twenty films, many of which had as their main theme the progress the American black community was able to achieve within US society, including “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” (1967) by Stanley Kramer or “The school of violence” (1967) by James Clavell.

Great success also with the interpretation of the inspector Virgil Tibbs in “The warm night of the inspector Tibbs” (1967) by Norman Jewison and in the two sequels “Neon homicide for the inspector Tibbs” (1970) of Gordon Douglas and “The organization challenges Inspector Tibbs” (1971) by Don Medford.

Personal life

In 1968 he wrote his first screenplay, “Un uomo per Ivy” directed by Daniel Mann, while in 1972 he debuted behind the camera with “Don’t preach? Shoot!” co-performed with his friend Harry Belafonte.

In the early 1980s he stopped appearing on the screen to devote himself completely to directing.

He returned to appear in 1988 in “On the trail of the murderer” by Roger Spottiswoode and “Nikita, spies without face” by Richard Benjamin, in 1992 in “The Lords of the scam” by Phil Alden Robinson and in 1997 in “The Jackall” by Michael Caton-Jones.

His appearances on the small screen are more frequent, including the interpretation of Nelson Mandela in the TV movie “Mandela and DeKlerk” (1997) by Joseph Sargent.

Among the various awards received, in addition to the aforementioned Oscar winner, he received two Silver Bears as best actor at the Berlin Film Festival (1958 and 1963), a BAFTA for best foreign actor (1959).

Sidney Poitier married twice. The first with dancer Juanita Hardy (born 1931), with whom she remained between 1950 and 1965.

After breaking up with her first wife, she maintained a brief relationship with actress and singer Diahann Carroll to finally marry in 1973 with the blonde Canadian performer Joanna Shimkus (born 1943), whom Poitier met during the filming of “The Lost Man” (1969).

He also got two Golden Globes (1964, 1969), the Cecil B. DeMille Award (1982), the AFI Life Achievement Award (1992) and in 2002 an Honorary Oscar “for his extraordinary performances, for a unique presence on the screen and for having represented throughout the world the ‘film industry with dignity, style and intelligence “.

Since 1998 he has been part of the Disney management staff. In 1950 he married the dancer Juanita Hardy from whom he had four children, Beverly, Pamela, Sherry and Gina.

The two divorced in 1965 and in 1976 the actor married his current wife, actress Joanna Shimkus, with whom he had his sons Anika and Sydney Tamiia (who followed in his parents’ footsteps and is also an actress).

In 1980 his autobiography “This Life” was published.

Quick summary

Full name: Sidney Poitier

Date of birth: February 20, 1927

Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA

Age: 93

Profession: Actor

Height: 1.89 m

Weight: 90 kg

Net Worth: 25$ million