In 1964 Sidney Poitier was the first black man to receive the Oscar for his leading role in “Lilies on the Field”. Today, in 2021, he will be the namesake for the lobby of a new museum in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles – The new Academy Museum in Los Angeles wants to name its huge entrance hall after the legendary actor Sidney Poitier. It was an “incredible honor” to have Sir Sidney Poitier as the namesake for the lobby, said museum director Bill Kramer in a statement. Poitier’s humanitarian merit and groundbreaking artistic creation is an inspiration to everyone.
Poitier has always had a close relationship with the Oscar Academy, said Joanna Shimkus Poitier, the 94-year-old star’s wife. To be chosen as a namesake is almost as important as a second honorary Oscar. According to the museum announcement, colleagues such as Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Netflix program director Ted Sarandos, chairman of the museum’s board of directors, had campaigned for the election of Poitiers.
The farmer’s son, who grew up in the poorest of circumstances in the Bahamas, was the first black man to be awarded the Oscar for best leading actor in 1964 for the film “Lilies in the Field”. He celebrated further successes with films such as “Escape in chains”, “Porgy and Bess”, “A spot in the sun”, “Guess who comes to eat” and “In the heat of the night”. In 2002 Poitier received an honorary Oscar for his life’s work.
The opening of the Museum of the Film Academy, which awards the Oscars every year, is scheduled for September 30th. The Academy’s collection, including films, scripts, props and costumes, will be on display over an area of almost 30,000 square meters. Stars like Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and George Lucas, but also film studios and companies donated millions for the facility. dpa