Burt Lancaster

Greatest role: Playing the title character in Elmer Gantry, 1960. Won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Most meaningful relationship: With his second wife, Norma Anderson, married in 1946, divorced in 1969. The couple had five children.

Little known fact: Actor and Screen Actors Guild president Ed Asner said that Burt Lancaster showed everybody in Hollywood “how to be a liberal with balls”.

Sidney Poitier (1927 – 2022)

Must-see movie: In the Heat of the Night, 1967, a mystery-drama. Poitier played Virgil Tibbs, a detective from Philadelphia drawn into a murder investigation in a small town in Mississippi. At the 40th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for seven Oscars, winning five

The person: twice married, Sidney Poitier fathered six daughters. In April 1997, he was appointed ambassador from the Bahamas to Japan, a position he held until 2007. From 2002 to 2007, he was also the Bahaman ambassador to UNESCO.

Quote: “If the fabric of the society were different, I would scream to high heaven to play villains and to deal with different images of Negro life that would be more dimensional. But I’ll be damned if I do that at this stage of the game (1967).”