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By Judy Gerstel and Judy Gerstel,Knight-Ridder News Service | September 11, 1992
"I've never done an ensemble piece before," Sidney Poitier says. "I always carried the weight of the films I was in. And I've not played in comedies very much. I did a couple with Bill Cosby, but of course nobody saw me because they were looking at him.That gets a big laugh, and not only because it is self-deprecating humor from a man called an American icon by the director of "Sneakers," Phil Alden Robinson.The joke is that you can't now and never could take your eyes off Mr. Poitier, not since he made his screen debut 42 years ago in "Blackboard Jungle.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | February 2, 2011
Ruth J. DePoitiers, a former Hecht Co. worker and a volunteer, died Jan. 13 of a stroke at Stella Maris Hospice. The longtime Lutherville resident was 88. Ruth Jennetta Schilling, the daughter of a postal worker and a factory worker, was born and raised in Westmont, N.J. After graduating in 1941 from Collingswood High School in New Jersey, she went to work as a bookkeeper for Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Philadelphia. She moved to Lake Worth, Fla., in 1951, where she worked as a bookkeeper for a Buick automobile dealership.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow | May 13, 2004
The third Maryland African American Film Festival opens at 7:30 p.m. today at the Heritage CinemaPlex (1045 Taylor Ave.) with Uptown Saturday Night, director Sidney Poitier's genial ensemble comedy starring Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor. It was the Barbershop of its day - a good-natured hit signaling (as film historian Donald Bogle has written) that "audiences enjoyed watching black actors working well with one another" in settings as un-hyped and familiar as a church picnic.
NEWS
By chris kaltenbach and chris kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | December 6, 2008
Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (2 p.m., AMC), the story of a band of outlaws looking to make one last grand stand, brought to the screen a Western like no one had seen before. Violent and dirty, with heroes whose distinctions between good and evil seem based on a sliding scale, it brought renewed energy to a genre that had been pretty much tapped out by the time of its 1969 release. If John Ford's Westerns were all about heroes and mythology and the steady pace of civilization, Peckinpah's centered on what happens when ruthless men find themselves in ruthless times.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | April 7, 1991
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall has declined t talk at length about "Separate But Equal."But Sidney Poitier, who plays Marshall in the TV movie airing tonight and tomorrow night, spent time with the jurist to prepare for the role, and said he glimpsed the tenacity that helped Baltimore-born Marshall succeed as an NAACP attorney trying to desegregate America's schools in 1954."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Terry Lawson and Terry Lawson,KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS | January 29, 2004
I now keep track of holidays, anniversaries and special events almost exclusively via DVD release schedules. Thus, I know Black History Month is a few days away by the release of The Sidney Poitier DVD Collection (MGM), which collects five of the pioneering actor's films. Even taken out of its context, 1967 best picture Oscar winner In the Heat of the Night remains a stunner. Here, Poitier finally casts off the mantle of nobility he had worn for a decade to play Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia homicide cop who refuses to turn the other cheek to the Mississippi racists who begrudgingly beg his help to solve a murder.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | April 6, 1996
Did they really have to concoct such a nutty opening just so they could bring Lulu back to sing "To Sir With Love" one more time, 29 years later?A middle-age Lulu singing the words of a lovestruck teen in an improbable, hokey scene set in a school gymnasium -- you might think things could not get worse than that in "To Sir With Love II," but they do. They get so bad, in fact, that it might actually make you angry about the way network television -- with...
NEWS
By chris kaltenbach and chris kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | December 6, 2008
Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (2 p.m., AMC), the story of a band of outlaws looking to make one last grand stand, brought to the screen a Western like no one had seen before. Violent and dirty, with heroes whose distinctions between good and evil seem based on a sliding scale, it brought renewed energy to a genre that had been pretty much tapped out by the time of its 1969 release. If John Ford's Westerns were all about heroes and mythology and the steady pace of civilization, Peckinpah's centered on what happens when ruthless men find themselves in ruthless times.
NEWS
By Myrna Oliver and Myrna Oliver,Los Angeles Times | December 1, 1993
Claudia McNeil, a character actress best known for her stage and screen role as the Sidney Poitier character's mother in "Raisin in the Sun," died Nov. 25 at the Actors Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J., of complications to diabetes.Miss McNeil, who was born in Baltimore, was 77 and had lived in the home for nine years."When I saw that face, I knew that we'd found the mother for my play," playwright Lorraine Hansberry said after she cast Miss McNeil for "Raisin in the Sun," which is about a struggling black family on Chicago's South Side.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 13, 2002
We already know who the biggest winner will be on Oscar night. His name is Sidney Poitier. On Jan. 24, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that Poitier would be given a special Oscar "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen" and for his "dignity, style and intelligence" as a representative of the movie industry. Poitier is the only African-American ever to receive an Academy Award in a lead acting category, when he took home a Best Actor Oscar in 1964 for Lilies of the Field.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | March 29, 2008
In a week full of news, two sad stories and one downright weird one stand out. Sad story No. 1 is the tragic death of Zach Sowers, 10 months after he'd been beaten, stomped and left lying unconscious in the street near his East Baltimore home. Sowers was in a coma for the entire period, while his wife, Anna, stood by his bedside, footed the mounting bills for his medical care and did her best to stir Baltimoreans to outrage about the sorry state of criminal justice in this city. I met Anna Sowers at a restaurant in the early autumn of 2007.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | July 13, 2007
The films of Sidney Poitier will be showcased in a free outdoor film series running Fridays through Aug. 17 in Clifton Park, at the band shell off St. Lo Drive. Tonight's kick-off film is Norman Jewison's Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night (1967), with Poitier as a Philadelphia detective confronting bigotry and condescension while investigating a murder case in a small Southern town. The festivities begin at 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by Meridian Homes, the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello Corp, Civic Works and the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow | May 13, 2004
The third Maryland African American Film Festival opens at 7:30 p.m. today at the Heritage CinemaPlex (1045 Taylor Ave.) with Uptown Saturday Night, director Sidney Poitier's genial ensemble comedy starring Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor. It was the Barbershop of its day - a good-natured hit signaling (as film historian Donald Bogle has written) that "audiences enjoyed watching black actors working well with one another" in settings as un-hyped and familiar as a church picnic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Terry Lawson and Terry Lawson,KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS | January 29, 2004
I now keep track of holidays, anniversaries and special events almost exclusively via DVD release schedules. Thus, I know Black History Month is a few days away by the release of The Sidney Poitier DVD Collection (MGM), which collects five of the pioneering actor's films. Even taken out of its context, 1967 best picture Oscar winner In the Heat of the Night remains a stunner. Here, Poitier finally casts off the mantle of nobility he had worn for a decade to play Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia homicide cop who refuses to turn the other cheek to the Mississippi racists who begrudgingly beg his help to solve a murder.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 25, 2002
Two and a half hours into the 74th annual Academy Awards, the extravaganza reached an emotional highpoint when veteran actor Sidney Poitier took the stage to accept his honorary Oscar and the entire Academy took to its feet. But it would be just one golden moment in a historic night that welcomed the Oscars into their new home and saw some old ghosts laid emphatically to rest, with Halle Berry and Denzel Washington joining Poitier as the only African-Americans ever to win best acting Oscars.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 13, 2002
We already know who the biggest winner will be on Oscar night. His name is Sidney Poitier. On Jan. 24, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that Poitier would be given a special Oscar "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen" and for his "dignity, style and intelligence" as a representative of the movie industry. Poitier is the only African-American ever to receive an Academy Award in a lead acting category, when he took home a Best Actor Oscar in 1964 for Lilies of the Field.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | February 25, 1995
Sidney Poitier deserves better than "Children of the Dust."The four-hour, two-night mini-series, which begins at 9 tomorrow night on WJZ (Channel 13), isn't the worst mini-series of the season. In fact, it has patches of splendid acting and moments of great emotional intensity.Furthermore, it reminds viewers that America had a race problem long before slavery, and, like it or not, we've been a multi-cultural society since the first European stumbled onto land.But "Children of the Dust" is so calculated that ultimately it feels like one of those old movie serials -- the ones that flash "to be continued" across the screen just as the cowboy hero is about to leap across a gorge on horseback to escape a herd of charging buffalo or a gang of no-good varmints.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | March 29, 2008
In a week full of news, two sad stories and one downright weird one stand out. Sad story No. 1 is the tragic death of Zach Sowers, 10 months after he'd been beaten, stomped and left lying unconscious in the street near his East Baltimore home. Sowers was in a coma for the entire period, while his wife, Anna, stood by his bedside, footed the mounting bills for his medical care and did her best to stir Baltimoreans to outrage about the sorry state of criminal justice in this city. I met Anna Sowers at a restaurant in the early autumn of 2007.
NEWS
By Sheryl McCarthy | June 8, 2000
NEW YORK -- When Thandie Newton trained her alluring smile on Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible 2," I asked myself: "What's happening here?" For two hours, Ms. Newton, a gorgeous black actress, has both the villain of the movie and its world-famous movie star wrapped around her finger. In a movie that came out about two years ago, Ms. Newton played the role of the maid of an Italian composer who was so obsessed with her that he sold all his furniture, artwork and finally his piano to raise the money to satisfy her one wish.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jean Thompson and Jean Thompson,Sun Staff | May 28, 2000
"The Measure of a Man," by Sidney Poitier. Harper. 272 pages. $26. This is not the clench-jawed growl of Mister Tibbs. Nor is it the elegant patter of the unimpeachably perfect doctor who is coming to dinner. This is the casual cadence of Sidney Poitier, just a guy taking stock of the mountains and valleys of his accomplishments. He's preaching the lessons of manhood,and the tension between rage and restraint. At 73, he's a survivor of prostate cancer and hard knocks, fatherhood and fame.
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