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Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & More Remember The Late & Great Sidney Poitier

Hollywood legend and trailblazer Sidney Poitier, whose groundbreaking acting work in the 50s and 60s paved the way for generations of Black people in the entertainment industry, has passed away, aged 94.

The sad news was confirmed by Clint Watson, press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, where Poitier was raised.

Today, all those who were inspired by him are sharing words of love for the late and great star, who notably became the first Black person to win an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in 1963’s “Lillies in the Field.”

“For over 80 years, Sidney and I laughed, cried and made as much mischief as we could,” fellow icon Harry Belafonte said in a statement.

“He was truly my brother and partner in trying to make this world a little better. He certainly made mine a whole lot better.”


Actor Denzel Washington, who followed in Poitier’s footsteps to became the second Black actor to win a Lead Actor Oscar also shared a statement:

“It was a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentleman and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years. God bless him and his family.”

Media queen Oprah Winfrey took to Instagram to express her love:

“For me, the greatest of the “Great Trees” has fallen: Sidney Poitier. My honour to have loved him as a mentor. Friend. Brother. Confidant. Wisdom teacher. The utmost, highest regard and praise for his most magnificent, gracious, eloquent life. I treasured him. I adored him. He had an enormous soul I will forever cherish. Blessing to Joanna and his world of beautiful daughters.”


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A post shared by Oprah (@oprah)

Actress Viola Davis thanked Poitier for his work that “radically shifted my life.”

In a post on social media she writes, ” The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we as Black folks, mattered!!!”

Actor and director Tyler Perry summed up Poitier’s “grace and class” as an example to all, “not only as a Black man but as a human being.”


Actor Morgan Freeman shared a photo of the two of them smiling together and described Poitier as “my inspiration, my guiding light, my friend.”


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A post shared by Morgan Freeman (@morganfreeman)

Halle Berry described the enormity of his loss in a heartfelt post on Twitter:

“My dear Sidney, an enormous part of my soul weeps at your passing In your ninety-four years on this planet, you left an indelible mark with your extraordinary talent, paving the way for Black people to be seen and heard in the fullness of who we are. You were an iconic trailblazer. Yours was a life well lived.”

Beyoncé’s BeyGood Foundation shared an image of a young Poitier with the words “Rest In Power.”

Below it, a caption which reads: “an activist, actor, icon. Thank you for touching our lives and making them richer.”


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A post shared by BeyGOOD (@beygood)

Mr Poitier was 94. He leaves behind six daughters, Sydney, Anika, Beverly, Pamela, Gina and Sherri.

(Feature Image Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.

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