Sir Sidney Poitier, the first black actor to win an Oscar for ‘Best Actor’ in 1964, sadly passed away at the age of 94 on the morning of the 7th of January.
His passing was confirmed by Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Bahamas, where Poitier grew up.
An inspiration in his field and one of the last surviving major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. He is best known for his acting in Lilies of the Field, for which he won his Oscar. As well as other notable roles in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.
Many celebrities have been inspired by his work and pay tribute to him through social media.
Jeffery Wright, paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter, calling him a ‘landmark actor.’
Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love.
(📷Sam Falk/NYT) pic.twitter.com/5ZaKxxPdxw
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) January 7, 2022
Whoopi Goldberg also paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter.
If you wanted the sky i would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high..
To Sir… with Love
Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P.
He showed us how to reach for the stars
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) January 7, 2022
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson paid tribute to Poitier calling him ‘a great friend’ and are sending their prayers to his family.
A great friend, I learned a lot from watching Sidney and how he carried himself with such grace and class. May he rest in peace. Cookie and I send our prayers to the entire Poitier family! pic.twitter.com/Et0AhWMCUR
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2022
Tyler Perry paid tribute to Poitier on Instagram, recalling their time together, especially a trip to South Africa with Poitier and Cicely, where Perry stated ‘I literally sat at their feet and listened to their wisdom and experiences. It was life-changing.’
Tina Knowles also paid tribute to Poitier on Instagram, calling him a ‘Trailblazer for black leading men.’
Viola Davis, paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter, describing how his work ‘radically shifted’ her life.
This is a big one. No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life. The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we, as Black folks, mattered!!! It was an honor… https://t.co/xaPAjAlRtR pic.twitter.com/aqOmRqq7SN
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 7, 2022
Bernice King, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter.
Poor People's Campaign, Resurrection City, Washington, D.C., May 1968
Powerful beyond the stage and screen. pic.twitter.com/hEKRxGvoM2
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 7, 2022
Debbie Allen also paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter.
#SidneyPoitier, your last sunset with us is the dawn of many generations rising in the path of light you blazed. We will always hold you in our hearts and forever speak your name. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/hIKYCqM245
— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) January 7, 2022
Dionne Warwick, paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter, recalling a memory of their first meeting when she was a ‘little girl.’
He once caught me following him. He said “little girl what do you want” I muttered “can I have your autograph”. From that day he always called me little girl and asked if I wanted his autograph. It was something we laughed about. He was my hero & great friend. May he RIP ❤️. https://t.co/yQhuiDCZse
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) January 7, 2022
Oprah Winfrey, paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter, saying ‘For me, the greatest of the Great Trees has fallen.’
Sidney Poitier 🕊 pic.twitter.com/otVjSFHaw8
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 7, 2022
LeVar Burton, paid tribute to Poitier on Twitter, saying that he has ‘admired and emulated him my entire life.’
Mr. P was everything to me! My North Star and guiding light. The very personification of elegance, eloquence, effortless grace and humanity, I have admired and emulated him my entire life. Without Sidney Poitier, quite simply, there would be no LeVar Burton.#RIP#OG#MrP
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) January 7, 2022