Sidney Poitier’s Family Calls Him a ‘Guiding Light’ in Heartfelt Tribute Following His Death at 94

by Samantha Whidden

Following the passing of 94-year-old Hollywood icon Sidney Poitier, the late actor’s family reflects on the achievements he made during his lifetime. 

In a statement provided to Variety, Sidney Poitier’s family stated there were no words to convey the deep sense of loss and sadness they are feeling right now. “We are so grateful he was able to spend his last day surrounded by his family and friends.”

They also noted that to them, Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist, and a man of grace and moral fortitude. He was also a devoted and loving husband. The actor was a supportive and adoring father as well as a man who put his family first. “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 late actor’s family also explained they could always turn to him for wisdom and solace. “His absence feels like a giant hole in our family and our hearts. Although he is no longer here with us in this realm, his beautiful soul will continue to guide and inspire us. He will live on in us, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In every belly laugh, every curious inquiry, every act of compassion and kindness.”

The family went on to add that Sidney Poitier’s legacy will live on. It will continue to inspire not only with his acting work but even more with his humanity.

Sidney Poitier Spoke About How He and His Wife Joanna Were Destined to Be 

In 2016, Sidney Poitier spoke to People about how he and his wife, Joanna, were destined to be together. The couple married in 1976. They had two daughters together, Anika and Sydney. Poitier also had four daughters from his previous marriage to Juanita Hardy. 

“My wife and children mean the most to me,” Poitier stated at the time. When he was asked what his greatest achievement is, he said couldn’t even begin to list the myriad reasons why. “You will be here for quite a while.”

Sidney Poitier’s wife, Joanna Shimkus also said, “We’ve been together 49 years and I’m a good cook. I cook every night. Anything healthy. It’s all organic. Lots of veggies, lots of chicken and fish, all wild and organic. I take good care of him.”

While accepting his lifetime achievement award at the BAFTA Awards, Sidney Poitier went on to declare that he has been very lucky. “I have tried to be a good human being, a good actor, a good director, a good filmmaker. My wife is with me here. My wife, my children, and my friends have been keeping me on my feet.”