‘He spent his last day surrounded by family and friends’: Sidney Poitier’s family pay tribute to their ‘guiding light’ after his death aged 94: Denzel Washington thanks him for ‘opening doors that had been closed’

In a statement about Sidney Poitier, who died on Thursday night in his Los Angeles home at age 94, his children said they were ‘so grateful he was able to spend his last day surrounded by his family and friends. To us Sidney Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist, and a man of incredible grace and moral fortitude, he was also a devoted and loving husband, a supportive and adoring father, and a man who always put family first,’ the statement read. Denzel Washington (inset) was also the latest celebrity to pay tribute to the actor, who he credited for his 2002 Oscar win because of Poitier’s historic Oscar win in 1964 as the first black man to win best actor.


The family of Hollywood trailblazer Sidney Poitier paid tribute to the late star, calling him a ‘guiding light’ for their family as Denzel Washington and other actors also cited the Oscar winner as a source of inspiration.

In a statement about Poitier, who died on Thursday night in his Los Angeles home at age 94, his children said they were ‘so grateful he was able to spend his last day surrounded by his family and friends.’

Sidney Poitier and his six daughters in an undated photo from Arizona State University

‘To us Sidney Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist, and a man of incredible grace and moral fortitude, he was also a devoted and loving husband, a supportive and adoring father, and a man who always put family first,’ the statement read.

‘He is our guiding light who lit up our lives with infinite love and wonder. His smile was healing, his hugs the warmest refuge, and his laughter was infectious.’

The family added that they were currently experiencing a ‘deep sense of loss and sadness’ over Poitier’s passing, which was confirmed by the Bahama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell, on Friday morning. The cause of death is not yet known.

Poitier is survived by his wife, Joanna Shimkus, six daughters, eight grand children and a handful of great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Gina, who died in 2018.

‘Although he is no longer here with us in this realm, his beautiful soul will continue to guide and inspire us,’ his family said.

‘He will live on in us, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren — in every belly laugh, every curious inquiry, every act of compassion and kindness.

‘His legacy will live on in the world, continuing to inspire not only with his incredible body of work, but even more so with his humanity.

‘We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to every single one of you for the outpouring of love from around the world. So many have been touched by our dad’s extraordinary life, his unwavering sense of decency and respect for his fellow man. His faith in humanity never faltered, so know that for all the love you’ve shown him, he loved you back,’ the statement concludes.

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SOURCE: Daily Mail