Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSAbove: Sidney Poitier
holding his best actor Oscar, won for his role in Lilies of the Field
(1963). The singular actor, director, and civil rights activist Sidney Poitier died last Thursday. An immigrant from the Bahamas who rose to prominence through the American Negro Theatre, then Broadway, Poitier entered Hollywood when few complex roles for Black actors were available. He became the first Black man to win the best actor Oscar in 1963 for Lillies of the Field, but also frequently received criticism for playing roles perceived as overly chaste and stately. Poitier persisted nonetheless, and later directed his own films, such as Buck and the Preacher
(1972), starring his friend Harry Belafonte
and Ruby Dee
, and the Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor prison break comedy Stir Crazy
(1980). The prolific critic, programmer, and filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
also died on Thursday.