The Oscars Decoded: 12 Black Actors Who Won & Their Career Impact

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SIDNEY L. POITIER

In 1963, Poitier became the first Black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field. He was 37 at the time. Acting professional from 1943 to 2001, Poitier already had memorable performances in American classics like The Defiant Ones, A Raisin in the Sun and Porgy and Bess at the time of his win. Post-Oscar he went on to star in To Sir, With Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, as well as directing Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do it Again, A Piece of the Action and Stir Crazy. Now 84, Poitier is an activist and diplomat for human rights who has an estimated net worth of $65 million dollars.

SIDNEY L. POITIER

In 1963, Poitier became the first Black person to win an Academy Award…

(Image: Getty)