Sidney Poitier…

is 77 today.

American Masters from PBS sums it up nicely:

More than an actor (and Academy-Award winner), Sidney Poitier is an artist. A writer and director, a thinker and critic, a humanitarian and diplomat, his presence as a cultural icon has long been one of protest and humanity. His career defined and documented the modern history of blacks in American film, and his depiction of proud and powerful characters was and remains revolutionary.

Lilies of the Field — with Poitier’s Oscar winning performance — has been one of NewMexiKen’s favorites since it was released more than 40 years ago. If you don’t know the film, you should.