In 1968, violence raged across America as race riots divided the nation. It was also the same year Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Yet during this turbulent time, Sidney was breaking down social barriers by starring in the top-three films of that year. He made history by playing the romantic lead in a film that was banned in many parts of the South—Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. It was the first film to feature an interracial romance in a positive light.
The film particularly had an impact on dinner guest Betsy, who is married to an African-American man. "We just go about our lives, and if we run into anyone who looks askance or doesn't want to seat us, I just think, 'That just told me something about them,'" she says. "It never occurs to me or to my husband, John, to think, 'Oh, maybe there's something wrong with what we're doing.'"