Legendary Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier has died at age 94.
Poitier was the first black actor to win Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1964 for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.”
Clint Watson, press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, confirmed that Poitier died Thursday evening.
The actor overcame an impoverished background in the Bahamas and in 1967 alone he appeared in three films at a time when segregation still existed in parts o the U.S.
“It’s been an enormous responsibility,” Poitier told Oprah Winfrey in 2000. “And I accepted it, and I lived in a way that showed how I respected that responsibility. I had to. In order for others to come behind me, there were certain things I had to do.”
Former President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Portier in 2009.