Sidney Poitier was best known for his groundbreaking work in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1950, Sidney Poitier made his debut in a supporting role in the film ‘No Way Out.’ He was subsequently flooded with a lot of film offers, which was quite unusual for an African-American at that time. Poitier's breakout role came in ‘Blackboard Jungle.’
In 1958, Sidney starred with Tony Curtis in 'The Defiant Ones,' which received nine Academy Award nominations, including 'Best Actor' nomination for Poitier. Poitier won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his film Lilies of the Field (1963). In the late 50s and early 60s, he also received acclaim for several films, including 'Porgy and Bess' (1959), 'A Raisin in the Sun' (1961), and 'A Patch of Blue' (1965).
In 1967, Poitier starred in 3 successful films, which dealt with the theme of racism (To Sir, with Love; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night). In the 1970s, Poitier ventured into direction and directed various comedy films, including Stir Crazy (which starred Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder). After a hiatus of nearly a decade, Poitier returned to television and films in Shoot to Kill (1988) and Sneakers (1992).