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Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning actor and activist, dies at 94

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Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning actor and activist, dies at 94
Sidney Poitier, a trailblazing actor known for "The Defiant Ones," "Lilies of the Field" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," has died. File Photo by Alexis C. Glenn/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actor and activist Sidney Poitier has died.

NBC News reported Friday that Poitier, previously one of the last remaining living stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, has died at age 94. His cause of death has not been announced.

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Fred Mitchell, the Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs, also confirmed the news to Deadline.

Poitier was known for such films as The Defiant Ones, Lilies of the Field, Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. He received three Academy Award nominations during his career and was the first Black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field.

The actor was born in Miami in 1927 and grew up in the Bahamas. He enlisted in the Army during World War II and later started his acting career by joining the American Negro Theater.

Poitier came to fame as an actor in the 1950s. Several of his films, including A Raisin in the Sun, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, challenged stereotypes and addressed racial issues.

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In addition to acting, Poitier was an activist for civil rights and racial equality. He also served as ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan from 1997 to 2007.

Poitier most recently starred in the TV movie The Last Brickmaker in America, released in 2001.

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