Recognized as one of the finest performers in American history and a trailblazer who broke down barriers for Black actors, Sidney Poitier's groundbreaking career spanned decades and shattered stereotypes. He made history as the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor and he became a major box office draw. Below read what his friends and colleagues said about him.
1. Harry Belafonte
“For over 80 years, Sidney and I laughed, cried and made as much mischief as we could. He was truly my brother and partner in trying to make this world a little better. He certainly made mine a whole lot better.”
To read about Buck and the Preacher, click here.
2. Richard Widmark
“Lasting friendships are not the norm in this business, but I met Sidney in 1949. We were making a picture called No Way Out… We became good friends. I watched with great admiration the young fellow I met so long ago develop into a brilliant actor, director, and writer who’s lent dignity to our profession and has become a man we all admire.”
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
“He is a man who never lost his concern for the least of God’s children.”
4. Denzel Washington
“He meant everything to me. He was a positive example of elegance and taste. He was a source of pride for million African Americans. He was a great movie star that was appreciated by millions of people all around the world.”
5. Rosa Parks
“He’s always been a great actor and a role model.”
6. Morgan Freeman
“Sidney was my inspiration, my guiding light, my friend.”
7. Stanley Kramer
“Sidney Poitier, I know you’re special, and I want you to know you made a contribution in my life I’ll never be able to repay.”
To read about Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, click here.
8. Lee Grant
“Maybe because I was around when Sidney first started out – maybe that’s why his amazing talent was stamped so indelibly on my mind... that talent is a sizzling mixture of intellect, passion, rage, and pure joy.”
9. Tony Curtis
“Working with Sidney was a great privilege for me. He’s one of the finest men I’ve ever known.”