First African American to win Best Actor

Although Hattie McDaniel holds the title of first black actor or actress to win an Oscar, it's revered Sidney Poitier who can claim the title of first black performer to snag a Best Actor trophy. He was honored in 1964 for the drama Lilies of the Field, besting Hollywood heavyweights Albert Finney (Tom Jones), Richard Harris (This Sporting Life), Rex Harrison (Cleopatra) and Paul Newman (Hud).

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