Sidney Poitier, the actor who helped break down racial barriers in American cinema, has died aged 94.

The Bahamian actor became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award For Best Actor in 1964 for his role in 'Lilies Of The Field'.

Poitier was one of the biggest box office stars of the 1960s, with roles in Oscar-winning films such as 'In The Heat Of The Night' and 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' making him an international star who wasn't afraid to tackle difficult topics on screen.

Poitier was politically active in his prime, taking part in Martin Luther King's 1963 March On Washington which culminated in King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

His advocacy and services to the screen led to the actor being awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 2009 by Barack Obama and being made an honourary Knight Commander by Queen Elizabeth in 1974.

The actor turned his hand to directing, with his notable films being 1980's 'Stir Crazy' starring Gene Hackman and Richard Pryor and 1990's 'Ghost Dad' starring Bill Cosby.

Poitier retired from acting in the 2000s, and his final on-screen appearance was in an HBO documentary about comedian Don Rickles in 2008.

In a recent interview for the Oscar-tipped 'The Tragedy Of Macbeth', Denzel Washington expressed regret at not being able to work with the actor, saying he wished he had starred in a film with him prior to his retirement.

When Washington won the Academy Award For Best Actor in 2002 for 'Training Day', Washington said "I'll always be chasing you, Sidney - I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir."

Two-time Oscar winner Morgan Freeman clled Poitier 'the inspiration in my life'

"My inspiration? Bottom line - this guy right here. He's my mentor. He was a mentor long before he knew his position in my life," Freeman said after being presented with an award by Poitier in 2012.

'Westworld' and 'The French Dispatch' star Jeffery Wright was among the tributes on Twitter, calling him a "one of a kind."