Today is the 86th birthday of one of my top 12 favorite actors---the sensational Sidney Poitier. (February 20, 1927). Since Mr. Poitier is one of the few stars of the "golden era" who is still alive, I definitely want to celebrate him.
I first discovered the Academy Award-winning Mr. Poitier in No Way Out, a film which was recommended by Net Flix because of my interest in others similar to it. That film---which is Mr. Poitier's credited screen debut---sees top billing going to Richard Widmark; however, Mr. Poitier more than held his own. I was completely impressed with him and was soon on a quest to see more of his films. Since he excels in meaty, dramatic roles, and since those are my favorite kinds of films, it's no wonder I have enjoyed everything of his that I've seen.
Mr. Poitier's Academy Award came for his work in Lilies of the Field. Walking away with 1963's Best Actor statue, he became the first black man to receive such an award. He also received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for The Defiant Ones; 2002 saw him receiving an Honorary Oscar "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style, and intelligence." Quite honestly, I think Mr. Poitier ought to have at least been nominated (if not coming away with the win) for many more films than he was. He has always given powerful, brilliant performances.
Mr. Poitier has also seen action on the other side of the camera, directing such films as Buck and the Preacher, Stir Crazy, and A Piece of the Action. I'm not familiar with any of his directorial works, though.
My all-time favorite Sidney Poitier film is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn---reviewed HERE). This is one of those not-nominated-for-an-Oscar-but-should-have-been films in my opinion.
Rounding out my list of five favorite Poitier films are:
2. To Sir, with Love (reviewed HERE)
3. A Raisin in the Sun (With Claudia McNeil and Ruby Dee, this is another should-have-received-an-Oscar-nomination film---reviewed HERE)
4. Edge of the City (with John Cassavetes---reviewed HERE)
5. A Patch of Blue (with Elizabeth Hartman and Shelley Winters---reviewed HERE)
So, Mr. Sidney Poitier, happy 86th birthday to you!! I hope your birthday finds you in good health and surrounded by family and friends. You will always be one of my very favorite actors. Thank you for bringing so much enjoyment to my life through so many fantastic movies!!