Sidney Poitier’s five-decade career will be the subject of a tribute June 18 and 19 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Poitier, who won the best-actor Oscar for “Lilies of the Field” (1963), will be present both evenings. The first night will feature in-person tributes and clips, and the second will spotlight a screening of his 1967 film “In the Heat of the Night,” including a reunion of cast and crew members.
Scheduled to participate on June 18 are Diahann Carroll, who co-starred with Poitier in “Porgy & Bess” (1959) and “Paris Blues” (1961); Richard Benjamin, who directed him in “Little Nikita” (1988); Norman Jewison, director of “Heat of the Night” (1967); and Phil Alden Robinson, who directed “Sneakers” (1992).
Another guest is James Earl Jones, who worked in “Sneakers” and in “A Piece of the Action” (1977), which Poitier directed.
June 19 will screen a newly restored print of “In the Heat of the Night,” followed by the cast and crew reunion. The film, produced by Walter Mirisch and directed by Jewison, received five Academy Awards, including best picture. Restoration of the print was completed recently by MGM/UA and the Academy Film Archive.
Poitier’s screen debut was in “No Way Out” (1950). His other acting credits include “The Defiant Ones” (an Oscar nomination), “Raisin in the Sun,” “To Sir with Love” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Poitier’s directing credits include “Buck and the Preacher,” “Uptown Saturday Night” and “Stir Crazy.”
Both programs begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for each event are $5 for the public and $3 for Academy members. They may be purchased in advance at the Academy or by mail. If tickets are still available on either evening, they will go on sale at 7 p.m. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.