Black Hollywood is showing tribute to Sidney Poitier, who died Friday at age 94.
Winston Duke posted his feelings about Poitier on Instagram, writing, “This is what it means to lose a hero but gain a legend.”
He called Poitier “an eternally bright and shining star who in life has been a compass for me and countless others” and a “guiding light showing what’s possible…what’s achievable through sweat and clear intention. He added his thanks to Poitier, saying, “Thanks for showing all of your fellow Caribbean sons and daughters a way. Thank you for being the example a world like ours fought to keep silent and failed. You will be missed but never forgotten. You left your indelible mark! Rest In Peace Mr. Sidney Poitier!”
Viola Davis also posted to Instagram, writing that Poitier's death was "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!!!” she said. “It was an honor for my husband [producer/actor Julius Tennon] and I to share lunch with you at [Spago]. You told us, ‘If your dreams do not scare you, they’re not big enough”! I put this quote on my daughter’s wall. Rest well Mr. Poitier. Thank you! Thank you for leaving a legacy. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
Actors also wrote their condolences and memories on Twitter, with Jeffrey Wright tweeting:
“What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man.”
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
Lee Grant, one of Poitier's white co-stars in 'In the Heat of the Night' tweeted,
“Sidney was a force of nature. One of [the] most intelligent, beautiful, 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.”
Sidney was a force of nature. One of 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. #sidneypoitier pic.twitter.com/Qo7zLB9eQk
— Lee Grant (@TheLeeGrant) January 7, 2022
Tyler Perry also wrote on Facebook how Poitier's death reminds him of Cicely Tyson's death last January.
“Around this time last year Cicely Tyson was releasing her book and promoting it. I had no idea she would pass away shortly thereafter,” he wrote. “Now to wake up this morning to a call that Sidney Poitier has passed away…all I can tell you is that my heart broke in another place.”
“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,” he continued. “I’ll never forget inviting him and Cicely 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. All I can say is thank you for your life, thank you for your example, and thank you for your incredible gift. But most of all, thank you for being willing to share YOU to make us all better.”
Debbie Allen tweeted, "#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."
Whoopi Goldberg wrote some of the lyrics to the theme song to 'To Sir, with Love,' writing,
“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 RIP. He showed us how to reach for the stars.”
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
Lenny Kravitz wrote, "Sir #SidneyPoitier, your brilliant light will never dim."
“The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream. You showed the world that with vision and grace, all is possible.”
Sir #SidneyPoitier, your brilliant light will never dim. The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream. You showed the world that with vision and grace, all is possible.
📸: Mathieu Bitton pic.twitter.com/Y0agy7P7Gg
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) January 7, 2022
Poitier became a leading man in Hollywood at a time when it was unthinkable for Black actors. He also became the first Black actor to win a Best Actor Academy Award for 1964’s Lilies of the Field.