Acadamy Award Winner Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier is one of Shemar Moore’s biggest acting inspirations, and this is a man who has started from humble beginnings to go on to win multiple Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and even a Grammy award for best spoken word album. Poitier has been acting on stage and in film since the late 1940’s, and continues to wow audiences with his all-encompassing performances today.
Sidney Poitier was born during a visit to Miami, but he actually hails from Cat Island in the Bahamas. During his early years, Poitier experienced a life of poverty in the Bahamas, with parents who ran a farm as well as drove a taxi cab. In order to help with the family business, Sidney Poitier was able to receive very little formal education, and was finished with school altogether by the age of 15. Around this time, Poitier’s parents were concerned with his growing level of delinquency, and sent him to Miami to stay with his brother.
Coming from a country where the population is mostly of African descent, Poitier was shocked when he arrived in Miami and saw firsthand the type of racial divide that was occurring in the United States. While this was a disheartening and discouraging revelation at first, it then began to grow as a passion inside him, and Sidney Poitier was determined to create opportunities for African-Americans to receive equal treatment and respect.
Three years later, at age 18, Sidney Poitier moved from Miami and decided to make a life for himself in New York City. Upon arriving in New York, Poitier made ends meet by doing labor-type jobs around town, and calling a bus station terminal his home. He then decided to take a chance at auditioning for roles at the American Negro Theater, but his accent left over from his upbringing in the Bahamas proved difficult to overcome. He tried again to audition for the American Negro Theater, after spending 6 months practicing acting and overcoming his accent, and he was gladly accepted on his second audition.
From acting in the American Negro Theater, Sidney Poitier then went on to play small roles on Broadway, which garnered him excellent reviews. In 1949 he was offered a role in the Darryl F. Zanuck production of No Way Out, and Sidney Poitier made his first foray into film.
Sidney Poitier’s film history from that time forward has been legendary, and he continues to set the stage for African American actors everywhere. Shemar Moore has taken much inspiration from the life and work of Sidney Poitier, as he has been able to prove that no person is unable to overcome adversity in order to make their dreams come true.