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Morgan Freeman, Tyler Perry, Colman Domingo, and More Remember Sidney Poitier

The Oscar-winning trailblazer died January 7 at age 94.

Sidney Poitier, Oscar presenter at the 1967 Academy Awards,  1968.

Sidney Poitier presenting at the 1968 Academy Awards

Courtesy Everett Collection

Sidney Poitier, the first Black actor to win an Academy Award (for his performance in 1963’s “Lilies of the Field”), has died at age 94. Tributes from friends and famous fans immediately began to pour in, honoring a trailblazer who forged a way forward for Black performers. Poitier enjoyed a lengthy career, first on Broadway and then starring in films including “In the Heat of the Night,” “A Raisin in the Sun” (in which he reprised his starring role from Broadway), “To Sir, With Love,” “A Patch of Blue,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

“What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man,” Jeffrey Wright shared on Twitter. Lee Grant, his co-star in “In the Heat of the Night,” tweeted, “Sidney was a force of nature. One of [the] most intelligent, beautiful, and unstoppable human beings I’ve ever known. He made our world, and my life, better in ways we still may not entirely comprehend. Calling him a legend doesn’t do it justice. He was Sidney Poitier.”

Tyler Perry wrote, “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.”


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