The main stars of "Porgy and Bess" are Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge, who play the title characters. The film also features Sammy Davis Jr. and Brock Peters as members of the supporting cast.
Poiter, who played the role of Porgy, would go on to become one of the most successful actors of the 1960s. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his performance in "Lilies of the Field," and he received a nomination for the award again in 1968 for "In the Heat of the Night," which won Best Picture. Dandridge, who played Bess, died in 1965 at the age of 42. "Porgy and Bess" was one of her last film appearances, followed only by "Zalaga" and "Marco Polo."
The supporting cast of the film also included Sammy Davis Jr. in the role of Sportin' Life and Brock Peters in the role of Crown. Davis achieved significant fame as a solo entertainer, as well as for his association with the Rat Pack, which also consisted of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. Peters had a significant acting career until his death in 2005, appearing in films such as "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Soylent Green" and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."