Tributes pour in for groundbreaking actor Sidney Poitier


Tributes to Sidney Poitier poured in from Hollywood and around the world following the death Thursday of the groundbreaking actor and cultural icon. Poitier, who was the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, was 94.


“The grace and class that this man has shown throughout his entire life, the example he set for me, not only as a Black man but as a human being will never be forgotten. … 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.” — Actor and director Tyler Perry, on Facebook.

“The Passing Of Our Giant MR. SIDNEY POITIER Is Very Personal To Me. As A Black Kid Growing Up In The Sixties My Mother Would Take Me To His Films. Mommy Loved Her Some Sidney. Here Was A Proud, Dignified, Handsome And Strong Black Man That We See In Our Communities All The Time But Now Burst And Burnt Through The Silver Screens Of Hollywood. Am I The Only One Who Has Noticed That Every Day We Are Losing The Gamechangers Who Have Impacted Our Lives With Their Positive Force. Rest In Power “MR. TIBBS”.” — Director, producer and filmmaker Spike Lee, on Instagram.

“Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together. He also opened doors for a generation of actors. Michelle and I send our love to his family and legion of fans” — Former U.S. President Barack Obama, on Twitter.

“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.” — Talk show host, philanthropist and author Oprah Winfrey, on Twitter.

“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…” — Actor Viola Davis, on Instagram.

“Immediately dispelling the perverted, obscene, and misinformed notion of white supremacy in every beautifully human, artistic and dignified way = Sidney Poitier.” — Actor Mark Ruffalo, 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. — Actor and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg, on Twitter.

“Sidney Poitier, 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. — Actor and director Debbie Allen, on Twitter.

“One of the greatest actors of his generation. We all have our Poitier era. Growing up in the ’70s I’d have to say that maybe ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ was the first movie I ever watched. … Rest in peace. And thank you.” — Musician Questlove, on Instagram.

“The star of ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’ and ‘Lilies of the Field,’ for which he won Best Actor, was a trailblazer who will be mourned by so many for whom he opened the very doors of Hollywood.” — Actor George Takei, on Twitter.

“Sir #SidneyPoitier, your brilliant light will never dim. The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream. You showed the world that with vision and grace, all is possible.” — Musician Lenny Kravitz, on Twitter.

“Sidney Poitier is quite literally the reason why I wanted to become an artist. … There are very few people that I quake in the presence of. Rest easy, GOAT. ” — TV actor Keith Powell, on Twitter.

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