Sidney Poitier Net Worth At Death – How Did He Get Rich? Exposed!

Sidney Poitier Net Worth

Sidney Poitier had an estimated net worth of $20 million at death. Hollywood icon Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, receiving the honor in 1964 for his performance in ‘Lilies of the Field.’ He earned the majority of his income from movies.

Sidney Poitier moved to New York to pursue an acting career after a troubled childhood and a brief stint in the United States Army. He joined the American Negro Theater and eventually found work in Hollywood. He became the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 1963 film Lilies of the Field. He also directed films such as Buck and the Preacher and Stir Crazy. In 1974, the acclaimed actor was knighted, and in 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

To calculate the net worth of Sidney Poitier, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as student loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Sidney Poitier
Net Worth: $20 Million
Monthly Salary: $150,000+
Annual Income: $2 Million+
Source of Wealth: Actor, Diplomat, Writer, Film director, Author, Film Producer

Early Years in Miami and the Bahamas

Sidney Poitier was born in Miami, Florida on February 20, 1927. While his Bahamian parents were on vacation in Miami, he arrived two and a half months early. Poitier left the United States with his parents for the Bahamas as soon as he was strong enough. Poitier grew up on Cat Island, working on his father’s tomato farm. When Poitier was about ten years old, the family moved to Nassau after the farm failed.

Poitier seemed to have a knack for getting himself into trouble in Nassau. As a result, his father decided to send the adolescent to the United States for his own good, and Poitier moved to Miami to live with one of his brothers. Poitier left the South for New York City at the age of 16, where he worked menial jobs until he discovered his life’s passion.

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Stage Beginnings

Poitier struck a deal with New York City’s American Negro Theater to receive acting lessons in exchange for working as a janitor at the theater. He eventually made his way to the ANT stage, where he stood in for Harry Belafonte in Days of Our Youth. Poitier received critical acclaim for his performance in a Broadway production of Lysistrata in 1946. His success in that role landed him another in the play Anna Lucasta, and Poitier toured the country with the all-Black production for the next few years.

Sidney Poitier’s Films

Early Career: ‘No Way Out’ to ‘Blackboard Jungle’

Poitier made his Hollywood debut in the 1950 feature film No Way Out, and he followed it up in 1951 with Cry, the Beloved Country, a drama set in apartheid-era South Africa. In 1955, he had a career breakthrough with the popular Blackboard Jungle, in which he played a troubled but gifted student at an inner-city school.

Oscar Nom for ‘The Defiant Ones’ and Win for ‘Lillies of the Field’

Poitier’s career as an actor reached new heights when he was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 1958 crime drama The Defiant Ones alongside Tony Curtis. The following year, he starred as the leading man in the musical Porgy and Bess, alongside Dorothy Dandridge. Both this film and his outstanding performance in the 1961 film adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun helped propel the actor to stardom.

Poitier won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1964 for his performance in Lilies of the Field (1963), making him the first African American actor to do so. The award helped Poitier become cinema’s first Caribbean American superstar, defying racial stereotypes.

‘Heat of the Night,’ ‘Guess Who’s Coming’ and ‘To Sir, with Love’

Poitier gave three distinct but equally strong performances in 1967. In the Southern crime drama In the Heat of the Night, he played Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs. In this groundbreaking look at interracial marriage, he played a Black man engaged to a white woman in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. In the film, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy played his fiancée’s parents. In the British film To Sir, with Love, he played inner-city teacher Mark Thackeray. Thackeray navigates racial and socioeconomic friction between rebellious and unruly students, eventually winning their respect.

While he helped break down the color barrier in film and brought dignity to the portrayal of noble and intelligent characters, Poitier came under fire in the late 1960s for not being more politically radical. He was particularly irritated by a critical article about him in The New York Times and chose to live in the Bahamas for a while before returning to Hollywood.

Directing Successes: ‘Buck and the Preacher’ to ‘Stir Crazy’

Poitier made his directorial debut in 1972, co-starring in Buck and the Preacher with his friend Harry Belafonte. They also co-starred in the 1974 comedy Uptown Saturday Night, the first of several Poitier-directed films starring Bill Cosby. Poitier directed the Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder comedy Stir Crazy in 1980, which became the highest-grossing film directed by an African American for many years.

‘Shoot to Kill’ and Other Late Roles

Poitier returned to the big screen as an actor in 1988, after a roughly 10-year absence, with a pair of dramas, Shoot to Kill and Little Nikita. Sneakers (1992) and One Man, One Vote (1996) are two other notable later films (1997). Poitier received praise for portraying some of history’s most famous men on television. In 1991, he played US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Separate but Equal, and in 1997, he co-starred with Michael Caine as South African leader Nelson Mandela in Mandela and De Klerk.

Books and Honors

Poitier published The Measure of a Man, billed as a spiritual autobiography, in 2000, turning his attention to sharing his many personal experiences. That same year, he won a Grammy for best spoken word album for the book’s audio version. He later published Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter in 2008, which contained his years of wisdom for future generations.

Throughout his legendary career, Poitier received numerous honors. He was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1974, which allows him to use the title “sir,” though he does not. President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Two years later, he was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center with the Chaplin Lifetime Achievement Award.

Poitier was also the Bahamas’ non-resident ambassador to Japan and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Marriages and Children

From 1950 to 1965, Poitier was married to Juanita Hardy, with whom he had four children: Beverly Poitier-Henderson, Pamela Poitier, Sherri Poitier, and Gina Poitier. He is married to Canadian-born actress Joanna Shimkus, with whom he has two children, Anika Poitier and Sydney Tamiia Poitier.


Poitier passed away on January 6, 2022. He was 94.

What Houses Does Sidney Poitier Own?

Given Sidney Poitier’s wealth, you can assume his home is more expensive than the average person’s. And, because real estate is a popular investment vehicle, we can safely assume he owns a number of houses.

Poitier owned a home in Stuyvesant, New York. He eventually moved to California after divorcing his first wife, where he owned a lavish Hollywood mansion in Los Angeles, where he lived until 2022. He did not own any other properties that we are aware of.

Sydney’s Beverly Hills home is currently worth $7-10 million.

Sidney Poitier’s Awards

He won the Academy Award for Best Leading Actor in 1963 for the film Lilies of the Field.

In 2002, he was awarded the Academy Honorary Award “for his extraordinary achievements and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence”.

How Much Does Sidney Poitier Make a Year?

According to some reports, Sidney Poitier’s annual income is over $2 Million.

Sidney Poitier Height

Sidney Poitier is 1.89 m tall.

Sidney Poitier Age

Sidney Poitier was born February 20, 1927, in Miami, Florida, United States, He passed away on January 6, 2022 at the age of 94.

Favorite Sidney Poitier Quotes

My father was a certain kind of man – I saw how he treated my mother and his family and how he treated strangers. And I vowed I would never make a film that would not reflect properly on my father’s name.

Sidney Poitier


To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed.

Sidney Poitier


So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness.

Sidney Poitier


The journey has been incredible from its beginning.

Sidney Poitier


I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.

Sidney Poitier


Generally, I tend to despise human behavior rather than human creatures.

Sidney Poitier


I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.

Sidney Poitier


My father was the quintessential husband and dad.

Sidney Poitier

View our larger collection of the best Sidney Poitier quotes.

Further Reading

Related Lists of Celebrities’ Net Worth

Or, browse all celebrities’ net worth.

How To Become Rich Like Sidney Poitier?

Sidney Poitier did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as Sidney Poitier, you have to work smart.

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