Sidney Poitier: “Everything Changes If You Live Long Enough”


Despite rumors circlating the weekend of the British acting award show, BAFTA, that Sidney was on his “death bed” or died were totally untrue.  The actor accepted his award via satellite from his home.

Rumors started when the press got wind of what Sidney’s doctors advised him that due to health concerns, Sidney should “refrain from transatlantic travel at this time.”

Long flights can have a number of ill affects on passengers.  Couple that with someone of Sidney’s age, then there could be some blood clotting or blood vessel dangers. But the soon to be 89 year old is “still kicking, just not as high” as my grandmother used to say.

Sidney Poitier’s life has been a series of “firsts.” In 1958, he was the first black actor nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor for his role as an escaped convict chained to Tony Curtis in “The Defiant Ones.” And when he won the Best Actor Oscar in 1964, he was not only the first black actor to do so, he remained the only one until 2002.

The youngest of seven children, Sidney Poitier was born three months premature while his Bahamian parents were in Miami to sell tomatoes. Uncertain whether he would survive because of a number of illnesses, his dad purchased a tiny casket, while his mother consulted a palm reader. “The lady took her hand and started speaking to my mother: ‘Don’t worry about your son. He will survive,’ ” Poitier recalled. “And these were her words, she said: ‘He will walk with kings.'”

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Sidney Poitier has sworn off alcohol, red meat, milk, sugar, and refers to his occasional scoop of ice cream as ”falling off the wagon.” Poitier eats an omelet made of egg whites to avoid cholesterol and an occasional side dish of broccoli to keep up with his habit of eating vegetables at every meal.

Poitier has been a health food and exercise enthusiast for at least 40 years, and it has served him well. At 88, he is 6-foot-3, a little under 200 pounds, trim, and…