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Five Famous People From The Bahamas
Hollywood Filmstar - Sidney Poitier
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Famous people from the Bahamas? I wonder if you could name any? In fact the Bahamas have produced some top class athletes, musicians, actors, models and writers.
One of the best known has to be the American actor Sidney Poitier. Sidney Poitier is more than the sum of his parts as he became, in spite of himself, a symbol of the movement for the liberation of black people in America.
The movie he is most famous for ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’ (1967) was a significant film in helping to break down social barriers between blacks and whites in the racially divisive times of the 1960’s. The story of a young white woman bringing her fiancé home to visit her liberal parents shows how they are put to the test when meeting him – because he’s black.
Sidney Poitier endured great hardships before he finally found fame and he went on to be appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974. As such he became an ambassador of the Bahamas. He remains a much loved figure.
Rock Legend - Lenny Kravitz
One for the young people, Lenny Kravitz was born in America but is the son of Roxie Roker, a famous Bahamian who was an actress in the successful 1970’s TV sitcom The Jeffersons.
Roxie was another native Bahamian who broke racial barriers by portraying a black wife married to a white husband in the TV series.
Lenny tried hard to break into the music business for some time until he swept onto the scene in the early 1990’s. He was hunky and gorgeous and soon had a serious audience of swooning girls.
As well as being an outstanding musician, writing songs for himself and for other famous artists such as Madonna, Lenny has also successfully worked as a designer and he has been honoured for his work for the United Nations Millennium Campaign, a campaign to reduce world poverty.
LA Lakers Star
Rick Fox, a glamorous LA Lakers player was born in Canada to a Bahamian father and an Italian Canadian mother. The family relocated to the Bahamas when he was three and he later attended high school in Nassau.
Fox has retained strong links with Bahamas, getting married there in 1999. He began his basketball career at high school in Nassau and then in school in Indiana.
His professional career began when he was selected to play for the Boston Celtics and he then went on, after six years with Boston, to play for the Los Angeles Lakers until 2004.
Since then, Fox has had a new career as an actor, most recently he’s in the eleventh season of the hugely successful ‘Dancing With The Stars’.
Running for Gold
Olympic Champion - Tonique Williams-Darling
Born in Nassau in 1976, Tonique Williams-Darling is another famous Bahamian athlete.
She is a sprint runner who became, in 2004, the Bahamians first Gold Medal athlete in the Olympic Games in Athens when she fought off a lead taken by the Mexican runner Ana Guevara, who had been one of her greatest rivals.
Tonique also won the Golden League-jackpot in the same year, taking home a fabulous $500,000 prize. She went on to win Gold in the 400 meter race at the World Championships in Athletics in 2005.
The Government of the Bahamas has honored their most prized athlete by naming a highway the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway and when you are visiting the Bahamas next, you may well drive down it.
A Real Bahamian Beauty
Bahamian Model - Shakara Ledard
A young Bahamian beauty has made a name for herself in the competitive world of modeling and that’s Shakara Ledard. Shakara was born in the Bahamas but now lives in New York.
Shakara burst onto the modeling scene when she modeled for the famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She modeled for the magazine for the following three years and was the first black female to be the cover model of Singapore’s prestigious Harpers Bazaar.
She’s also modeled for such famous clients as Levi’s, L’Oreal and Victoria’s Secret. What’s more she’s launched her own range of luxury street clothing, sold in more than seventy stores across the USA and known as the ROXS brand.
As well as all this, Shakara is now an actress and has appeared, following on from music videos with performers such as Justin Timberlake and in movies with co-stars such as Pierce Brosnan and Woody Harrelson.