Tributes poured in Friday morning following the death of legendary Hollywood actor Sidney Poitier at age 94.
Poitier – the first black man to win a best actor Oscar – left behind a trailblazing career which many A-List stars celebrated in their messages of condolences.
His passing was confirmed by the Bahamas’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell, on Friday morning. His cause of death is not yet known.
Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, Anika Noni Rose and many more lead tributes on Friday.
‘RIP, Sir. With love’: Sidney Poitier is honored by stars Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg and Jeffrey Wright leading tributes to ‘landmark actor’ after his death at 94 (Pictured in 1964)
Berry, 55, was the first black actress to win the best actress Oscar in 2002 as she posted a touching tribute to the star on Instagram with a snap of the talented thespians together.
She wrote: ‘”A tiny bit of myself is lost when my friends are gone,” Sidney Poitier wrote in his book LIFE BEYOND MEASURE. My dear Sidney, an enormous part of my soul weeps at your passing.
‘In your ninety-four years on this planet, you left an indelible mark with your extraordinary talent, paving the way for Black people to be seen and heard in the fullness of who we are. You were an iconic trailblazer; yours was a life well lived.’
Berry continued by talking about growing up admiring him and what a thrill it was when they finally met.
‘You are and always will be the true measure of a man’: Berry, 55, was the first black actress to win the best actress Oscar in 2002 as she posted a touching tribute to the star on Instagram with a snap of the talented thespians together
She wrote: ‘I grew up idolizing you and will always remember the day when I first met you. It is the only time in my life when I’ve been rendered speechless! There I sat, with my words glued together, and you were as gracious and charming then as you would be during our decades of friendship to follow.
‘Rest in peace, beloved Sidney. You are and always will be the true measure of a man.’
Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Wright was one of the first stars to react, tweeting: ‘Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love.’
Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg tweeted a touching message, reciting the lyrics to the theme song from Poitier’s 1967 film To Sir, with Love.
‘If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high.. To Sir… with Love,’ she wrote, adding: ‘Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars.’
Outpouring: Tributes poured in Friday morning following the death of legendary Hollywood actor Sidney Poitier at age 94
The 1967 British drama film dealt with social and racial issues in an inner city school, with Poitier playing teacher Mr Mark Thackeray.
Oprah Winfrey wrote on her social media platforms: ‘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.’
She continued: ‘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.’
To Sir With Love: Oscar winner Viola Davis posted a tribute on Instagram
Star of Dreamgirls and Tony winner Anika Noni Rose tweeted: ‘RIP Sidney Poitier. Thank you for being so kind, for every door you broke down and every slap you gave in return.’
‘This is a big one,’ said Oscar-winner Viola Davis. ‘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!!! It was an honor for my husband and I to share lunch with you at Spagos.’
Star-studded tribute: The actor began trending on social media Friday
‘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.’
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote: ‘Sidney Poitier. An absolute legend. One of the greats.’
Paying respects: Mourners began to lay flowers by his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
It is no surprise to see such a huge outpouring of tributes for the Bahamian-American star from fellow actors.
Poitier’s groundbreaking acting career saw win an Oscar in 1964 for his role in Lilies of the Field him and earn two further Academy Award nominations, ten Golden Globes nominations, two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, six BAFTA nominations, eight Laurel nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination.
Twice-married, he had four daughters with his first wife Juanita Hardy and two with his second wife Joanna Shimkus.
Star: Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner with Katharine Houghton