Screen legend Sidney Poitier passed away on Friday at the age of 95, just one week after the death of Betty White. Poitier was the first black movie star in Hollywood, as well as the first black actor to receive an Academy Award for Best Acting. Poitier was more than just an actor. He was also a filmmaker, activist, and director who helped open doors for African Americans all over Hollywood.
Poitier was born and raised in the Bahamas. He was awarded an Honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth. He was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was the highest civilian honor in the United States. The world witnessed the true impact of Poitier’s death shortly after its outbreak. Many paid respect to the man and shared their favorite moments with him on Twitter.
“This beautiful and wonderful talented black man. Rest in the peace and authority of #SidneyPoitier,” said Shereen Eiffel, President and Director – Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
“Sydney Poitiers. Poor People’s Campaign, Apocalypse City, Washington, D.C., May 1968. “Strong off stage and screen,” tweeted BerniceKing, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Clay Keane, host of SirusXM (@claycane), offered his condolences. “The legend Sidney Poitier appears to have passed away at the age of 94.” He is a true icon. This is an interview he gave in 1968, when he talked about how the media handled him. “Relax the power.”
Time Out Film’s official Twitter account (TimeOutFilm), was one of many media outlets that have praised Poitier for his long career. He was the first black actor to win an Academy Award. From “Blackboard Jungle” to “In the Heat of the Night,” he’s never been less than a screen magnet.
Philip Lewis of The Huffington Post (@Phil_Lewis), shared this passage from Poitiers’ Oscar acceptance speech in 1964.
“Oh man, Sidney Poitier. When I was a kid, In The Heat of the Night became one of the first films I could watch as an adult.” Mr. Poitier! “I wish you were there with angels in heaven,” said Nadia Latif, theater and film director (HerrDirector).
Tim Ruby, film critic (@trim_obey), tweeted: “It’s as if the incomparable Sidney Poitier has died. It’s also the first day of Peter Bogdanovich’s death. What an assault!”
“Sydney Poitier,” actor (jfreewright) Jeffrey Wright wrote. This is a great actor. It is unique. He was a truly generous, warm, and regal man. RIP, sir. All my Love.
To be worthy of such praise and adulation, we must all be grateful.