British public votes its favourite “Black Star Performance”

The British Film Institute’s Black Star Season opens this week and will run until the end of the year. It is the UK’s biggest season of film and television dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors. The season’s aim is to bring the work of black actors to a new generation of British audiences, helping to reposition them and their performances in the public’s collective memory.

To mark the launch of the Black Star Season, the BFI announced the results of its Favourite Black Star Performance public poll. The British public voted Sidney Poitier’s critically acclaimed turn as Detective Virgil Tibbs in Normal Jewison’s film In the Heat of the Night (1967) as its Favorite Black Star Performance.

The poll included 100 performances spanning over 80 years in film and television.

Running alongside the public’s poll was a separate poll of over 100 industry experts. Angela Bassett’s turn as Tina Turner in Brian Gibson’s What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) emerged as its winning entry.

Here are the Top 10 Favourite Black Star Performances voted by the public:

  1. Sidney Poitier (In the Heat of the Night, 1967)
  2. Pam Grier (Jackie Brown, 1997)
  3. Michael K. Williams (The Wire, 2002-2008)
  4. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, 2013)
  5. Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, 1994)
  6. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, 1994)
  7. Denzel Washington (Malcolm X, 1992)
  8. Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple, 1985)
  9. Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do with It, 1993)
  10. Sidney Poitier (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1967)

Here are the top 10 Favourite Black Star Performances

  1. Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do with It, 1993)
  2. Pam Grier (Jackie Brown, 1997)
  3. Sidney Poitier (In the Heat of the Night, 1967)
  4. Denzel Washington (Malcolm X, 1992)
  5. Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple, 1985)
  6. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, 2013)
  7. Juanita Moore (Imitation of Life, 1959)
  8. Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones, 1954)
  9. Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets and Lies, 1997)
  10. Danny Glover (To Sleep with Anger, 1990)
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