The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Cover Story - BY JAY BOB­BIN

“The De­fi­ant Ones” (1958) Poitier and Tony Cur­tis con­vey ap­pro­pri­ate fury as lit­er­ally linked chain-gang fugi­tives in di­rec­tor Stan­ley Kramer’s racially blistering drama.

“A Raisin in the Sun” (1961) Poitier rises to the oc­ca­sion, as do his co-stars, in the adap­ta­tion of Lor­raine Hans­berry’s clas­sic play about a fam­ily’s sud­den wind­fall.

“Lilies of the Field” (1963): Poitier be­came the first African-Amer­i­can to win the best ac­tor Os­car for his por­trayal of a handy­man who re­luc­tantly helps a group of nuns build a chapel.

“A Patch of Blue” (1965) Poitier and El­iz­a­beth Hart­man are heart­break­ingly won­der­ful in this drama of a blind woman and the man who be­friends her.

“Duel at Di­ablo” (1966) Poitier re­united with “Lilies of the Field” di­rec­tor Ralph Nel­son on this no­tably ma­ture and gritty Western, also starring James Garner.

“To Sir, With Love” (1967) Poitier had a hit-af­ter-hit movie year – which TCM will show­case in full on Sept. 17 – that started with his mem­o­rable por­trayal of a novice teacher deal­ing with a class­room of Lon­don toughs. “In the Heat of the Night” (1967) The screen truly siz­zled from the team­ing of Poitier and Rod Steiger as law­men with very dif­fer­ent method­olo­gies in this Os­car-win­ning South­ern crime drama. “Guess Who’s Com­ing to Din­ner” (1967) Cap­ping a year that any per­former

would cher­ish, Poitier worked with screen le­gends Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hep­burn in this com­edy-drama about an in­ter­ra­cial mar­riage-to-be. Katharine Houghton, Hep­burn’s niece, played the intended bride.

“Stir Crazy” (1980) If you don’t re­mem­ber Poitier ap­pear­ing in this prison com­edy, he didn’t; in­stead, he put Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor through their paces as the film’s di­rec­tor.

“Shoot to Kill” (1988) Drawing on his au­thor­ity and sheer star power, Poitier is ef­fec­tive as an FBI agent who re­lies on a tracker (Tom Berenger) to find a lethal villain in the Cana­dian-Amer­i­can wilder­ness.

“A Raisin in the Sun”

“Duel at Di­ablo”

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