2022 has already made us bid goodbye to some of the most amazing stars in Hollywood history. Now, Sidney Poitier, an outstanding face in cinema and history, has passed away at the age of 94.
Sidney Poitier – The First Black Star of Hollywood
Less than a week after famed actress Betty White left this world, and just a day after the passing of writer/director Peter Bogdanovich, iconic Hollywood actor Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94-years-old. The legend was the first true Black movie star and the first to win the Oscar for Best Actor. But, what many don’t know is that Poitier was much more than just an actor. He also worked as a director and activist, one who made it his life’s mission to help other Black men and women enter the hallowed halls of Hollywood.
Thanks to his incredible work, Poitier, born in the Bahamas in 1927, not only earned an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth, but also a Kennedy Center Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can earn in the United States. The actor also worked in the business world, serving as a board member on the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company, from 1995 to 2003. Poitier also became an ambassador from the Bahamas to Japan for a decade, from 1997 to 2007. During that time he concurrently served as the ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO.
After his passing, many famous celebrities came out to say kind words about Poitier…
Always In Their Hearts
Countless celebrity friends and fans were affected by the news about Poitier’s passing. Denzel Washington, who presented the actor with an honorary award at the 2002 Oscars was one of the first to speak out. “It was a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentle man and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years. God bless him and his family,” he said in a statement. “For me, the greatest of the ‘Great Trees’ has fallen: Sidney Poitier,”
Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey wrote tweeted her sadness: “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 enourmous soul I will forever cherish.”
Another of Hollywood’s most famous black stars, Tyler Perry, shared a long post dedicated to Poitier on Instagram. The actor called his idol “a North Star,” who shared his “wisdom and experiences” with Perry. “All I can say is thank you for your life, thank you for your example, and thank you for your incredible gift. But most of all, thank you for being willing to share YOU to make us all better,” he finished.
Rest in peace Sidney Poitier.