Sidney Poitier

(Sir Sidney Poitier)

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A good deed here, a good deed there, a good thought here, a good comment there, all added up to my career in one way or another.
An appreciable number of directors have shifted to lower-cost films, allowing them to be satisfied with a more modest return.
As a man, I've been representative of the values I hold dear. And the values I hold dear are carryovers from the lives of my parents.
But I always had the ability to say no. That's how I called my own shots.
But my dad also was a remarkable man, a good person, a principled individual, a man of integrity. Families, Children & Parenting
Far as I can tell, I still have most of my hair, my gut is not hanging over my belt, and I still have all of my teeth.
Generally, I tend to despise human behavior rather than human creatures.
History passes the final judgment. History
I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.
I am not a hugely religious person, but I believe that there is a oneness with everything. And because there is this oneness, it is possible that my mother is the principal reason for my life. Life
I cannot be understood in three minutes.
I come from a great family. I've seen family life and I know how wonderful, how nurturing, and how wonderful it can be. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
I couldn't adjust to the racism in Florida.
I couldn't adjust to the racism in Florida. It was so blatant... I had never been so described as Florida described me.
I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father's life. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
I did not go into the film business to be symbolized as someone else's vision of me. Business, Commerce & Finance
I didn't run into racism until we moved to Nassau when I was ten and a half, but it was vastly different from the kind of horrendous oppression that black people in Miami were under when I moved there at 15. I found Florida an antihuman place.
I don't very often read novels.
I get offered work these days. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I had chosen to use my work as a reflection of my values. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I had learned something of Miami from people who had visited there, so I knew what to expect.
I had to satisfy the action fans, the romantic fans, the intellectual fans. It was a terrific burden. Romantic
I had two roles for which I compromised.
I have always been a learner because I knew nothing.
I knew what it was to be uncomfortable in a movie theater watching unfolding on the screen images of myself - not me, but black people - that were uncomfortable.
I know how easy it is for one to stay well within moral, ethical, and legal bounds through the skillful use of words - and to thereby spin, sidestep, circumvent, or bend a truth completely out of shape. To that extent, we are all liars on numerous occasions. Truth ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I learned to hear silence. That's the kind of life I lived: simple. I learned to see things in people around me, in my mom, dad, brothers and sisters. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
I lived in a country where I couldn't live where I wanted to live. I lived in a country where I couldn't go where I wanted to eat. I lived in a country where I couldn't get a job, except for those put aside for people of my colour or caste.
I never had an occasion to question color, therefore, I only saw myself as what I was... a human being.
I sometimes like the pictures photographers take of me.
I want my great-granddaughter to have a fairly good understanding of the world in which I lived for 81 years and also the world before I came into it - all the way back a hundred thousand years, to the beginning of our species.
I wanted to explore the values that are at work, underpinning my life. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I wanted to look at them because I feel, internally, that I am an ordinary person who has had an extraordinary life. Life
I was a gift to my mother. She was a remarkable person. God or nature, or whatever those forces are, smiled on her, then passed me the best of her. Nature ;Religion & God
I was born two months early, and everyone had given up on me. But my mother insisted on my life. Life
I was fortunate enough to have been raised to a certain point before I got into the race thing. I had other views of what a human is, so I was never able to see racism as the big question. Racism was horrendous, but there were other aspects to life. Life
I was not the kind of a principal player that was so in demand that eight or 10 or 12 scripts came per month.
I was the only Black person on the set. It was unusual for me to be in a circumstance in which every move I made was tantamount to representation of 18 million people.
I wouldn't change a single thing, because one change alters every moment that follows it.
I'd seen my father. He was a poor man, and I watched him do astonishing things.
If I'm remembered for having done a few good things, and if my presence here has sparked some good energies, that's plenty.
If the screen does not make room for me in the structure of their screenplay, I'll step out. I'll step back. I'd step back. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it.
If you apply reason and logic to this career of mine, you're not going to get very far. You simply won't.
I'll always be chasing you... Glory.
I'm a good person.
I'm going to quit writing.
I'm not a library.
In America, it is difficult to be your own man.
In my case, the body of work stands for itself... I think my work has been representative of me as a man. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Jackie Robinson is a true legend.
Mine was an easy ride compared to Jackie Robinson's.
My autobiography was simply the story of my life. Life
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. Families, Children & Parenting
My father was a poor man, very poor in a British colonial possession where class and race were very important.
My father was a tomato farmer. There is the phrase that says he or she worked their fingers to the bone, well, that's my dad. And he was a very good man. Families, Children & Parenting
My father was the quintessential husband and dad. Families, Children & Parenting
My father was very big on marriage. Families, Children & Parenting
My mother was the most amazing person. She taught me to be kind to other women. She believed in family. She was with my father from the first day they met. All that I am, she taught me. Women ;Families, Children & Parenting
My wife collects knickknacks.
Since I couldn't actuate the things that I wanted to do, the only weapon I had was to say no.
So I had to be careful. I recognized the responsibility that, whether I liked it or not, I had to accept whatever the obligation was. That was to behave in a manner, to carry myself in such a professional way, as if there ever is a reflection, it's a positive one.
So I'm OK with myself, with history, my work, who I am and who I was. History ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
So it's been kind of a long road, but it was a good journey altogether.
So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness. Life
The impact of the black audience is expressing itself. They look to films to be more expressive of their needs, their lives. Hollywood has gotten that message - finally.
The journey has been incredible from its beginning.
There is not racial or ethnic domination of hopelessness. It's everywhere.
To be compared to Jackie Robinson is an enormous compliment, but I don't think it's necessarily deserved.
To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed. Morning
We all suffer from the preoccupation that there exists... in the loved one, perfection.
When I set out to become an actor, I had set myself a standard.

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