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Celebrities pay tribute to Sidney Poitier


Though he lived a long and fruitful life, Sidney Poitier's death reverberated across the world as many remembered his trailblazing legacy.

Born in Miami to Bahamian parents, the actor became the first leading man of African descent in Hollywood and the first black man to win Best Lead Actor at the Academy Awards.

By selecting roles that defied the usual stereotypes of black people, he carved an image of himself as a no-nonsense, proud man who carried himself with grace and dignity.

This is how many remembered the actor as they paid tributes to him across social media.

Here is a round-up of tributes by those who knew and loved him.

Tyler Perry

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... 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. 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.

Winston Duke

This is what it means to lose a hero but gain a legend…an eternally bright and shining star who in life has been a compass for me and countless others. A guiding light showing what’s possible…what’s achievable through sweat and clear intention…. Thank you sir! 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!

Lenny Kravitz

Sir Sidney, 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. Your excellence will always be the benchmark. Rest in divine peace, Bahamian King. My love and condolences go out to your beautiful family. #SidneyPoitier

Oprah Winfrey

For me, the greatest of the “Great Trees” has fallen: Sidney Poitier. My honor to have loved him as a mentor. Friend. Brother. Confidant. Wisdom teacher. The utmost, highest regard and praise for his most magnificent, gracious, eloquent life. I treasured him. I adored him. He had an enormous soul I will forever cherish. Blessings to Joanna and his world of beautiful daughters

Debbie Allen

#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.

Terry Macmillan

Grateful for Sidney Poitier. My Mama was in love with him. Didn't miss a movie and saved the magazines he was on. "I wish I could've married him," I remember her saying when I was a kid. And she meant it. I loved his voice. And the way he looked at people.

Barack Obama

Through his ground-breaking 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.

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