Sidney Poitier’s family release statement after his death: “He is our lighthouse”

Sidney PoitierThe beloved Oscar-winning actor is remembered by family after his death.

The star has died aged 94, the Bahamian Foreign Office’s office confirmed to Fox News Digital on Friday. Prime Minister of the Bahamas Philip Davis also held a press conference on Friday morning in which he remembered the film icon as “an actor and director, entrepreneur, civil and human rights activist and , lately, diplomat “.

After tributes from countless celebrities and prominent figures around the world, his family is remembered the groundbreaking actor on Friday not only for his professional accomplishments, but also as a man “who puts family first.” .

“There are no words to express the deep sense of loss and sadness we are feeling right now. We are so grateful that he was able to spend his last day surrounded by family and friends,” begins the statement shared with Fox News Digital.


Actor Sidney Poitier and his daughter, actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier, arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, March 2, 2014.
(Hubert Boesl / photo alliance via Getty Images)

“For us, Sidney Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist and man of incredible grace and moral courage, he was also a devoted and loving husband, supportive and adoring father, and man. who always put family first. He is our guiding light that illuminated our lives with infinite love and wonder. His smile healed, his hugs were the warmest refuge and his laughter was infectious. We could always look to him for wisdom and solace and his absence feels like a giant hole in our families and hearts, ”the statement continued.

“Although he is no longer here with us in this kingdom, his beautiful soul will continue to guide and inspire us. He will live in us, his grandchildren and great grandchildren – in every belly laugh, every curious request, every act of compassion and kindness, “the statement continued. “His legacy will live on in the world, continuing to inspire not only with his incredible body of work, but even more with his humanity.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to each of you for the outpouring of love from all over the world. So many people have been touched by our father’s extraordinary life, his unwavering sense of decency and his respect for his neighbor. His faith in humanity has never wavered, so know that despite all the love you showed him, he loved you back, “the statement concluded.


Prime Minister Davis said on Friday the Bahamas were “in mourning”. He called for the Bahamian flag to be half-masted “at home and in our embassies around the world.

Poitier also received tributes from Hollywood icons Halle Berry and Denzel Washington following his death. Berry, 55, began a Twitter tribute to Poitier with a quote from his 2008 book “Life beyond measure“:” A little bit of myself is lost when my friends are gone. “

Actor Sidney Poitier speaks at the Fulfillment Fund's annual All-Star Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 23, 2007, in Beverly Hills, California.

Actor Sidney Poitier speaks at the Fulfillment Fund’s annual All-Star Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 23, 2007, in Beverly Hills, California.
(Michael Buckner / Getty Images)

“My dear Sidney, a huge part of my soul mourns at your passing,” Berry continued in his own words. “During your ninety-four years on this planet, you have left an indelible mark with your extraordinary talent, paving the way for blacks to be seen and heard in the fullness of who we are.”

Poitier was the first black actor to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1959 before later becoming the first black man to win that award in 1964 for his work in “Field lilies. “

“You were an iconic pioneer; yours was a life well lived,” Berry continued. “I grew up idolizing you and I will always remember the day I first met you. It was the only time in my life that I was speechless! Lovely then as you would be during our decades of friendship to follow. “


The actress concluded: “Rest in peace, beloved Sidney. You are and always will be the true measure of a man.”

American actor Sidney Poitier with his Oscar after winning the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood, California, April 13, 1964. Poitier won for his performance in "Field lilies," directed by Ralph Nelson.

American actor Sidney Poitier with his Oscar after winning the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood, California, April 13, 1964. Poitier won for his performance in “Lilies Of The Field “, directed by Ralph Nelson.
(File photos / Getty Images)

Berry’s tribute is significant, because nearly 40 years after Poitier’s Oscar victory, hers made her the first black woman to win an Oscar for playing a main character.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Denzel Washington said, “It has been a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentle man and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years. God bless him. and his family. “

Poitier remained the only black man to win an Oscar for a leading role until Denzel Washington won the same award for his work on “Training Day” in 2002.


Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte both paid tribute to the actor.

“All of us who have walked in Sidney Poitier’s shadow owe him so much,” Glover said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“For over 80 years Sidney and I laughed and cried and did as much silly thing as possible. He was truly my brother and partner in trying to make this world a little better. He certainly made mine a lot better,” he said. said Belafonte. Fox News digital.

Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington.

Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington.
(Kevin Reece / WireImage)

Poitier was born in 1927 in Miami, Florida, PBS share. The star grew up in the tiny village of Cat Island, Bahamas. His father, a tomato farmer, moved his family to the capital when Poitier was 11 years old. Very young, Poitier was fascinated by cinema and, at 16, he moved to New York. He found work as a diver and soon after became a janitor for the American Negro Theater in exchange for acting lessons.


This is where Poitier is entrusted with the role of Belafonte’s understudy in “The days of our youth”. Poitier made his public debut by filling a night out. Subsequently, he got a small role in the Greek comedy “Lysistrata”. Poitier continued to act in plays until 1950 when he made his film debut in “No Way Out”.

As one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Poitier made her mark with films like “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961), “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967 ) and “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974), among others.

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and Nate Day and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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