SIDNEY POITIER - Born: Sidney Tamiia Poitier, February 20, 1927, Miami, Florida. Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of a dirt farmer. He had little formal education & did menial jobs and slept in a bus terminal toilet in New York to join the American Negro Theatre. He progressed to one of the most respected figures in American cinema. Poitier's talent and integrity did much to break down racial barriers & in 1974, he was awarded Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire .