Legendary actor Sidney Poitier has passed away at the age of 94. For many, he is one of the most impactful and prolific actors of the past century. Poitier was the first Black man to win an Oscar for his role as Homer Smith in Lilies Of The Field in 1964.
Sidney Poitier leaves behind his wife of nearly 50 years and his six children. Four from his marriage with Juanita Hardy, and two from his second with Joanna Shimkus.
We introduce you to Poitier’s six fabulous daughters.
Inspirational actor passes away aged 94
Sidney Poitier’s death was confirmed by Fred Mitchell, the Bahamian Foreign Affairs Minister. However, at this time his cause of death has not been shared publicly.
Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier is most well known for his groundbreaking work pushing against racial barriers in Hollywood to cement Black actors in the mainstream, during a time of deep political uncertainty.
He moved to New York from the Bahamas when he was 16, with the dream of becoming an actor. Poitier worked many jobs to make ends meet while taking acting classes on the side.
His big break came when he landed a role in the 1955 film The Blackboard Jungle. Poitier went on to star in iconic films such as Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, The Defiant Ones and In The Heat Of The Night.
He also received an honorary Oscar award in 2002 for his extraordinary performances and for his pioneering work for the Black community.
Meet Sidney Poitier’s six children
Sidney Poitier has six daughters. Beverly, Pamela, Sherri and Gina, are from his first marriage to Juanita Hardy, and Anika and Sydney, are from his second marriage with Joanna Shimkus.
Beverly Poitier Henderson runs her own jewellery business on Etsy. She sells her own hand-made and colourful designs that have a strong African influence. She also previously published a novel called Nana.
Pamela, born two years after Beverly, went into the acting profession like her parents. She has also worked in location management and as a production assistant.
Poitier’s third daughter, Sherri, keeps a low profile, but we do know that she works as a chef.
Anika Poitier works behind the camera in the film industry. She is known primarily as a director but has also done some acting work.
Sydney has become an actress like her parents and learnt her trade at NYU’s Tisch School of the arts. She began her acting career in 1998 and has had roles in hit TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago P.D and Hawaii Five-O.
However, Gina sadly passed away unexpectedly in May 2018. She formerly owned a fashion boutique that catered for plus sized women. Gina lived in New York with her high school sweetheart, who she eventually married.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Sidney Poitier revealed that he was sometimes “a little hard” on his children because he expected so much of them, saying:
“In what I expect and demand of them in terms of values. My children respect my values, and I can see some of those values in them.”
Poitier remained with his second wife Joanna Shimkus for over 50 years. The pair reportedly met while filming The Lost Man in 1969 and were together for the rest of Poitier’s life.
In total Poitier had eight grandchildren and also three great-grandchildren as additions to his large family.
Tributes have flooded in for the late, great actor
As one of the most prominent actors of his generation, the passing of Sidney Poitier has sparked an outpouring of emotion on social media. Many actors and friends have shared touching tributes to one of America’s acting greats.
We send out our condolences to the friends and family of Sidney Poitier during this difficult time.
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