Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and More Remember Sidney Poitier After His Death

Photo: Getty Images

Hollywood is mourning the loss of trailblazing actor Sidney Poitier, who died on Thursday (January 6) at the age of 94.

Shortly after news broke on Friday (January 7) about Poitier’s passing, tributes began to pour in on social media from Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Kerry Washington, Debbie Allen, and more.

Stars wrote of Poitier’s life and legacy as the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor. Additionally, stars spoke of Poitier’s activism and humanitarian work.

See the moving tributes below.

#SidneyPoitier, 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. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/hIKYCqM245

— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) January 7, 2022

Sidney Poitier

Poor People’s Campaign, Resurrection City, Washington, D.C., May 1968

Powerful beyond the stage and screen. pic.twitter.com/hEKRxGvoM2

— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 7, 2022

Saddened to hear about the passing of trailblazing, iconic actor and performer, Sidney Poitier. Poitier brilliantly used art not only to entertain but to challenge & transform – defying stereotypes, breaking barriers, & celebrating the beauty of our full humanity.

— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) January 7, 2022

This beautiful, brilliant, talented Black man. Rest in Peace and Power #SidneyPoitier pic.twitter.com/RD3zhNOeX7

— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) January 7, 2022

Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love.

(📷Sam Falk/NYT) pic.twitter.com/5ZaKxxPdxw

— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) January 7, 2022

Sidney Poitier 🕊 pic.twitter.com/otVjSFHaw8

— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 7, 2022

He once caught me following him. He said “little girl what do you want” I muttered “can I have your autograph”. From that day he always called me little girl and asked if I wanted his autograph. It was something we laughed about. He was my hero & great friend. May he RIP ❤️. https://t.co/yQhuiDCZse

— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) January 7, 2022

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

— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) January 7, 2022

2022 is already working my nerves and soul…https://t.co/Yx90cnbw9G

— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 7, 2022

Around this time last year Cicely Tyson was releasing her book and promoting it. I had no idea she would pass away shortly thereafter. Now, to wake up this morning to a call that Sidney Poitier has passed away… continued: https://t.co/WWbsTgh1U0 pic.twitter.com/jgezv2ktGD

— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 7, 2022

I’ve posted this picture before, but while many remember #SidneyPoitier for his acting, I just want to acknowledge he was also a righteous freedom fighter. pic.twitter.com/806cjNtJw8

— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) January 7, 2022

Sidney Poitier was a legendary actor and director who paved the way for DECADES of leading Black men in film. He was the 1st Black actor to win the Academy Award for 1963’s “Lilies of the Field.” This leader & trailblazer will be missed. Rest In Power, Sidney Poitier pic.twitter.com/2wp8lejBTa

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 7, 2022

Former @disney board member Sidney Poitier was the most dignified man I’ve ever met. Towering…gentle…passionate…bold…kind…altogether special. pic.twitter.com/1ccPjqabkz

— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) January 7, 2022

We are deeply saddened by the news of trailblazer, humanitarian, and cultural icon Sidney Poitier’s passing.

May his memory be a blessing.

“In my case, the body of work stands for itself… I think my work has been representative of me as a man.”

— Sidney Poitier pic.twitter.com/0HTcxNnzuc

— The Black Caucus (@TheBlackCaucus) January 7, 2022

We lost an elegant King today. Thank you Sidney Poitier. For not only opening the door, but for walking in this world with endless grace and excellence, so that today, still, we follow behind you, reaching toward the example that you set. Rest In Peace and in Power. We love you. pic.twitter.com/CP2ga9KiHu

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 7, 2022

Thank you @StreiberPhoto for this unforgettable moment! #RIP #SidneyPoitier pic.twitter.com/8K3J16h7ul

— Blair Underwood (@BlairUnderwood) January 7, 2022

My heart is broken by the loss of one of America’s finest actors, directors & activists.

The first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor, Sidney Poitier paved the way for Black people in Hollywood.

— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 7, 2022

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. pic.twitter.com/zkYKFSxfKA

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 7, 2022

The blueprint, the original, a way maker. A singular icon who created vision for so many to dream, including me. Thank you, Mr. Sidney Poitier. pic.twitter.com/BWirvmDFal

— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) January 7, 2022


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