Sidney Poitier (1927-2022): Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey & others pay tribute to the icon

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 08, 2022, 11:54 AM(IST)

Sidney Poitier arrives at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood Photograph:( Reuters )

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In 1964, Sidney Poitier was the first Black person and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Legendary star Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win the best actor Oscar, passed away at age of 94 on January 7. Poitier's death was confirmed by Eugene Torchon-Newry, acting director-general of the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Remembering Sidney Poitier: Trailblazing Black film star and activist

By remembering his work and legacy, many Hollywood celebrities took their social media to pay their heart-warming respects to Hollywood's first big Black movie star. 

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Actress Halle Berry, who was the first black actress to win the best actress Oscar in 2002, took her Instagram account to mourn the loss of the stars. 
Sharing a picture with the late icon, she wrote: '"A tiny bit of myself is lost when my friends are gone," Sidney Poitier wrote in his book LIFE BEYOND MEASURE. 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.''

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Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Wright tweeted: ''Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love.''

Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg tweeted: 'If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high.. To Sir… with Love,' she wrote, adding: 'Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars.'

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Oprah Winfrey paid a heartfelt tribute to the legendary star. Sharing a happy picture of them, she wrote, ''For me, the greatest of the “Great Trees” has fallen: Sidney Poitier. My honor 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. Blessings to Joanna and his world of beautiful daughters 🙏🏾''

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Actor Mark Ruffalo said: "Immediately dispelling the perverted, obscene, and misinformed notion of white supremacy in every beautifully human, artistic and dignified way = Sidney Poitier."

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Poitier rose to the pinnacle of his profession despite coming from a poor family in the Bahamas and softening his heavy island accent at a time when important opportunities for Black performers were scarce.

In 1964, he was the first Black person and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He received two Academy Award nominations, ten Golden Globes nominations, two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, six BAFTA nominations, eight Laurel nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) nomination. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan.

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