Poitier to be honored by SAG

First black Oscar-winner receiving lifetime nod

Sidney Poitier, who has epitomized integrity in his long career as a thesp, will be given a lifetime achievement award at the Screen Actors Guild’s March 12 kudo show.

Poitier’s body of work is significant “not only because of its sheer acting brilliance, but because much of it forced America into examining racial prejudice,” SAG president Richard Masur (whose tenure ends Monday) said Thursday.

Poitier won an Oscar for his performance in “Lilies of the Field” (1963) and appeared also in “The Defiant Ones” (1958), “To Sir with Love” (1967), “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965), “In the Heat of the Night” (1967), “Paris Blues” (1961) and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” (1967).

Causes Poitier has assisted over the years include the Children’s Defense Fund, the Children’s Diabetes Center, the Carter Center and the Urban League.

Poitier is the 36th recipient of the SAG lifetime award, which was established in 1962.

The sixth annual SAG awards show will take place at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center and will be broadcast on TNT.