BREAKING: Sidney Poitier, trailblazing Hollywood icon who broke barriers for Black actors, dies at 94, source close to the family says.
In a groundbreaking film career that spanned decades, Poitier established himself as one of the finest performers in America.

He made history as the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor.
Poitier, who rejected film roles based on offensive racial stereotypes, earned acclaim for portraying proud, keenly intelligent men in 1960s landmarks such as “Lilies of the Field,” “To Sir, With Love,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
Poitier said he felt a responsibility to represent Black excellence at a time when the vast majority of movie stars were white and many Black performers were relegated to subservient roles: “I felt very much as if I were representing 15, 18 million people with every move I made."
Poitier won the best actor Oscar in 1964 for his depiction of an ex-serviceman who helps East German nuns build a chapel in “Lilies of the Field.”

The first Black man to win that honor, he remained the only one until Denzel Washington in 2002.
More on Sidney Poitier, from @d_arkin.

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More from @NBCNews

4 Jan
The United States hit 1 million new Covid-19 cases on Monday, according to data compiled by @NBCNews.
Washington, D.C., and Florida have had the largest jump in new cases in the last two weeks.

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• At least 64 killed in Kentucky, ranging from 5 months old to 86 years old, Gov. Beshear says

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📷 Tayfun Coskun / Getty
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📷 Silas Walker / Lexington Herald-Leader
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