Oscar winner and groundbreaking star Sidney Poitier dies

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Sidney Poitier, the groundbreaking actor and enduring inspiration who transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, has died. He was 94.

Poitier, the son of Bahaman tomato farmers, became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw,

Few movie stars had such an influence both on and off the screen.

Before Poitier, no Black actor had a sustained career as a lead performer or could get a film produced based on his own star power. Before Poitier, few Black actors were permitted a break from the stereotypes of bug-eyed servants and grinning entertainers.

Known for his roles in "The Defiant Ones," "A Raisin in the Sun" and "A Patch of Blue" – it was his performance in 1964’s"Lilies of the Field" that won Poitier the best actor Oscar.