Anne Bancroft the Best Actress for 1962 presented the Best Actor Award: The Best Actor nominees were: Albert Finney for Tom Jones, Richard Harris for This Sporting Life, Rex Harrison for Cleopatra, Paul Newman for Hud and Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field.
Technically four of the five nominees were British. Sidney Poitier a citizen of the Bahamas a commonwealth of the British Empire made history by receiving the Best Actor Award for his performance in Lilies of the Field.
Sidney Poitier was in the audience that night with Olivia de Havilland seated behind him and Natalie Wood a few rows in front. When Anne Bancroft read Sidney’s name thunderous applause broke out as the orchestra played a rousing version of the song ‘Amen’ while Sidney made his way to the stage. The camera did not show the audience as an emotional Sidney stood at the podium but the prolonged applause indicated he received a well-deserved standing ovation.

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