The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced it will present Sidney Poitier with its highest honor, the Fellowship, at this year’s BAFTA Film Awards. The iconic actor and Civil Rights activist earned BAFTA’s lifetime achievement Britannia Award back in 2006. Past Fellowship recipients include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Judi Dench, Martin Scorsese, and Helen Mirren among others.
“[Sidney Poitier is] a luminary of film whose outstanding talent in front of the camera, and important work in other fields, has made him one of the most important figures of his generation,” said BAFTA chief Amanda Berry. “His determination to pursue his dreams is an inspirational story for young people starting out in the industry today.”
Poitier has earned six BAFTA nominations for Best Foreign Actor thanks to credits that include “Edge Of The City,” “A Raisin In The Sun” and “In The Heat Of The Night.” He won the BAFTA in 1959 for his role in “The Defiant Ones,” which also secured him his first Oscar nomination. With his Oscar nomination for Best Actor in “Lilies of the Field,” he became the first African American to earn a nomination from the Academy.
The BAFTA Film Awards will be held on February 14.