Sidney Poitier’s family pays tribute to its “lighthouse”
The family of pioneering actor Sidney Poitier said the loss of the “lighthouse” left “a giant hole in our hearts”.
Besides his talent and activism, the actor was “a man who always put family first,” the Poitier family said.
The Bahamian-American actor, the first black man to win the Oscar for best actor, has died at the age of 94 surrounded by his family.
“There are no words to express the deep sense of loss and sadness we are feeling right now,” they said in a statement shared by US media.
“We are very grateful that he was able to spend his last day surrounded by family and friends.
“For us, Sidney Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist and a man of incredible grace and moral strength, he was also a devoted and loving husband, a supportive and adoring father, and a man who always put family first.
“He is our guiding light who has illuminated our lives with infinite love and wonder. Her smile healed, her hugs were the warmest refuge, and her laugh was infectious.
“We could always look to him for wisdom and comfort and his absence feels like a giant hole in our families and 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 in us, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in every belly laugh, every curious question, 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 with his humanity.”
Poitier was known for films such as In The Heat Of The Night, Blackboard Jungle and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner among a catalog of others.
Tributes to his life and career have poured in from famous people including US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Barack Obama and TV chat host Oprah Winfrey.
Artists of color, including Quincy Jones, Halle Berry and Lenny Kravitz, also thanked him for his pioneering work in promoting diversity in the industry.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to each of you for the outpouring of love from around the world,” his family continued.
“So many people were touched by our father’s extraordinary life, his unwavering sense of decency and his respect for his neighbor.
“His faith in humanity never wavered, so know that despite all the love you showed him, he loved you back.”