Hollywood is mourning the passing of the legendary Sidney Poitier, who died Friday. He was 94.
Poitier became the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor, in 1964 for his role in Lilies of the Field. He is also remembered for starring in A Raisin in the Sun, To Sir, with Love, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and many more classic films.
Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, Viola Davis and Debbie Allen are among the stars paying tribute to a true icon.
Tyler Perry: “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. There is no man in this business who has been more of a North Star for me than Sidney Poitier.”
“I’ll never forget inviting him and Cicely [Tyson] to fly to South Africa with me. Selfishly, I wanted to hold them both captive for the hours-long trip as I literally sat at their feet and listened to their wisdom and experiences. It was life changing…Thank you for being willing to share YOU to make us all better.”
Whoopi Goldberg: “To Sir… with Love Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars.”
Viola Davis: “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!!!”
Debbie Allen: “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.”