Manny P. here…
The oldest living Oscar-winning Best Actor has received a unique honor. Prime Minister Perry Christie officially renamed the Paradise Island Bridge as the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge as part of next month’s 40th anniversary celebration of Bahamian Independence. Hundreds of spectators cheered as the 88-year old actor and Prime Minister arrived for the rechristening.
Though Poitier was born in Miami, he spent his childhood on Cat Island, a sparsely populated island in the central Bahamas; then a British colony. At age 10, his family moved to Nassau.
Sidney Poitier became the first male black actor nominated for a competitive Academy Award for The Defiant Ones in 1958. He actually took home the Oscar for Lilies of the Field in 1963. His breakout part was when he played a member of an incorrigible high school gang in the 1955 classic Blackboard Jungle. The African American actor actively sought non-stereotypical roles throughout most of his career, and he’s credited in altering the landscape in cinema for all minorities.
Sharing dual-citizenship, in April 1997, Sidney was first appointed Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan, a position he currently holds. He’s also the Bahamian Ambassador to UNESCO. On August, 2009, Sidney Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.
The former Paradise Island Bridge is the largest in the Bahamas. It connects the capital to the Atlantis resort, one of the region’s main tourist destinations.
A quick reminder to Fall Back an hour on Saturday evening…
Until next time> “never forget”