Living legend Sidney Poitier opens up like never before in this once-in-a-lifetime interview. His story reveals his incredible journey from life on a remote island in the Bahamas to a brilliant career in the U.S. In part one of a two-part interview, Poitier offers up the lessons he’s learned from the many ups and downs of life. Poitier was born with an urge to understand the mysteries of life. At a young age, he was fascinated with nature, sky and sea – obsessed with what lay beyond the horizon of his little island. At the age of seven, in the company of his mother, he got his first taste of the world beyond his own – a place filled with more curiosities than he ever could have imagined: cars, running water, electricity, even his own reflection. But not all the new experiences he found were welcome ones. After being sent to Miami to live with his brother, he faced criticism, prejudice and racism – but his dignity and belief in himself remained unflappable. He never permitted anyone to define him; only he could define himself. He fled to New York City at the age of 15, where he worked as a dishwasher. His life took a new course when a kind co-worker taught him to read. He found a call for actors in the newspaper one day and, perhaps naively, decided he should take the chance. This led to the first of many auditions that would change his life forever.
Oprah’s Master Class—Sidney Poitier (Part 1) airs Sunday, April 22nd at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network