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
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
— 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
— 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
— 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
— 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