Sidney Poitier’s cause of death revealed, all-star tribute to Harry Belafonte, and more

The cause of death of the late Sidney Poitier has been revealed. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that the Academy Award winner passed away on January 6 from a combination of cardiopulmonary failure, prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s dementia, according to Deadline.

As previously reported, Broadway theaters in New York City will dim their lights Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. in tribute to the iconic actor. Poitier made his debut on the Great White Way 75 years ago in an all-Black revival of Lysistrata, and earned a Best Actor Tony nomination for the role of Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry‘s groundbreaking drama A Raisin in the Sun.

One of Poitier’s best friends, Harry Belafonte, will be honored at an all-star 95th birthday tribute on March 1 in Manhattan. John Legend, Laurence Fishburne, Doug E. Fresh, Danny Glover, Lenny Kravitz, Q-Tip, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Alfre Woodward are among the confirmed participants. The event will raise funds for Sankofa.org, the social justice organization Belafonte co-founded ten years ago.

“I am honored that so many are coming together to celebrate my birthday, life, and legacy,” the Oscar, Grammy and Emmy winner said in a statement. “I founded Sankofa.org alongside my daughter Gina and Raoul Roach to create additional space for artists and allies to join force to garner an artistic approach to the needs of our disenfranchised communities… to use art as a tool to educate messages of hope and to encourage and energize the public to become engaged.”

Finally, Spike Lee will receive the lifetime achievement award for distinguished achievement in motion picture direction from the Directors Guild of America, Variety reports. The Do The Right Thing director will be honored at the DGA’s 74th annual awards ceremony on March 12.

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