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May 23, 2020

Fascinating Vintage Photos of Sidney Poitier in the 1960s

After becoming the first black actor to receive a nomination for an Oscar Best Actor a few years earlier, Sidney Poitier would go on and become the first black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Lilies of the Field (1963). “It is a long journey to this moment,” said Poitier upon accepting his award in 1964. His joy, however, was lessened by his concerns that this prize would hinder him from asking for more substantive roles in the future.

Other films that Poitier also received critical acclaim for were A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and A Patch of Blue (1965). Over the following year after his Oscar win, Poitier worked somewhat little but remained the only major actor of African descent, and the roles presented were typecast for the most part. He reached the commercial peak of his career, became the most successful draw at the box office with three well-received films in 1967: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, To Sir, with Love, and In the Heat of the Night, each dealing with issues of race relations.

Below are 26 vintage photographs capture the actor during the 1960s:

Playing the rumba-drums in Berlin for the premiere of his film 'Porgy and Bess,' 1960. (Keystone)

Signing the Berlin's Golden Book wife Juanita, 1960s. (Harry Croner)

1960s. (Pierluigi Praturlon)

Speaking at a pre-Inaugural gala for President John F. Kennedy, 1961. (Leonard McCombe)
Interviewed by France Roche for the program 'Cinepanorama' at the Cannes film festival, 1961. (Daniel Fallot)

With Leslie Uggams at the 35th Academy Awards ceremony, Santa Monica, 1963. (Bettmann)

On the set of 'Lilies of the Field,' Tuscon, Arizona, 1963. (Michael Ochs)

Raising his arm in celebration in a scene from the film 'Lilies of the Field,' 1963. (United Artists)

Climbing a tree in Central Park, New York, 1963. (Bettmann)

With Burt Lancaster, Harry Belafonte and Charlton Heston at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963. (Paul Slade)

Backstage at the Academy Awards with Anne Bancroft, 1964. (Julian Wasser)

Smiling while holding his Best Actor Oscar, backstage at the Academy Awards, Santa Monica, 1964. (Gene Lester)

Holding his Best Actor Oscar for his role in 'Lilies of the Field,' 1964. (John Kisch)

With Federico Fellini at the Academy Awards party, both holding their Oscars, 1964. (Bettmann)

Visiting director Ralph Nelson on the Universal set of 'Father Goose,' with Cary Grant and Leslie Caron, 1964. (Bettmann)

After receiving 'Handel' medal, New York City, 1964. (Bettmann)

Making handprints in the wet cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, 1965. (Hulton)

Having make-up adjusted on the set of 'To Sir, With Love' at Victoria Barracks, Windsor Castle, 1966. (Chris Ware)

At the 39th Academy Awards ceremony, 1967. (Bettmann)

With Katherine Houghton and Spencer Tracy in 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,' 1967.

Attending the 40th Annual Academy Awards, 1968. (Ron Galella)

With Julie Andrews and Estelle Parsons at the 40th Academy Awards ceremony, 1968. (Silver Screen)

At the funeral ceremony of Robert F. Kennedy, 1968. (Paul Slade)

Filming 'The Lost Man' at Los Angeles harbor, 1968. (Charles Bonnay)

Presenting at the 41st Academy Awards with Ingrid Bergman, 1969. (ABC)

With Paul Newman and Barbra Streisand, here announcing the formation of their own movie production company, First Artists Production Company, 1969. (Bettmann)


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