At 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Broadway will dim its lights in honor of stage and screen legend Sidney Poitier.
The legendary actor and activist, who died at 94 on January 6, made his debut on the Great White Way 75 years ago in an all-Black revival of Lysistrata, and went on to earn a Best Actor Tony nomination for creating the role of Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry‘s groundbreaking drama A Raisin in the Sun.
After becoming the first Black actor to win a Best Actor Academy Award, for 1963’s Lilies of the Field, Poitier returned to the stage as a director, with Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights.
Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League noted in the announcement, “Although Sidney Poitier’s brilliance shone on Broadway stages as a performer and director in just a small number of productions, his presence on Broadway was both titanic and influential.”
Calling him a “true icon and an inspiration to so very many,” St. Martin said, “I know that Broadway fans worldwide recognize the incredible impact Mr. Poitier had on our art form.”