Sidney Poitier’s daughter, Sydney, pays tribute to her beloved dad

Actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier, 48, posted an emotional message on her Instagram page Tuesday.

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One of the six daughters of acting legend Sidney Poitier, who passed away on Jan. 6, recently penned an emotional statement honoring her beloved father, the first African American to win an Academy Award for a leading role. 

On Tuesday, Sydney Tamiia Poitier posted the message on her Instagram page, @sydneypoitierheartsong, which is her married name. Herself an actor, she most recently appeared as Det. Sam Shaw in the Canadian television crime comedy Carter. 

Sydney Tamiia Poitier (left), the actress daughter of legendary actor Sidney Poitier (right), who died Jan. 6, penned an emotional statement on Instagram honoring her late father. (Photo: Screenshot/Instagram)

“There are no words for this. No real way to prepare for this,” she began. “No prose beautiful enough, no speech eloquent enough to capture the essence of my dad. We know his accomplishments are many and that he quite literally changed the landscape for everyone who came after him. He blazed a trail through rough and hostile terrain so those coming behind him could have a bit more ease on the journey.” 

“We know how graceful and wise he was,” the 48-year-old shared. “How powerful his strength of character and moral fortitude. But what I really want people to know is how GOOD he was. I know people know he was good, but I don’t think they know the depth of his goodness. That it permeated every cell of his being. The sort of goodness that prevented him from killing even the tiniest of bugs.” 

Her father, she maintained, “knew on a cellular level that if he hurt anyone or anything, he hurt everyone and everything.” She noted that Poitier “treated anyone who crossed his path as his equal and offered them his full presence.” She asserted that he was like a lighthouse: “Warm and bright. No matter the storms whipping around him, he stood unwavering shining his light.”

As the 94-year-old Bahamian-born screen star declined in his later years, his daughter wrote, “We thought we were taking care of him. I see now that the truth is he was still taking care of us. He was reminding us, particularly in these uncertain times, of the power of GOODNESS. That even when the body is fading and things seem to be falling apart around us, the goodness remains.”

Poitier’s goodness lives on in his family, says his namesake, and “in his movies and books, in every warm embrace he offered an adoring fan, every piece of advice he gave to those he mentored, every tiny bug he gently placed outside.”

She said that while she would miss her father, his presence remains as she “will feel you in the warmth of the sun on my back, I will hear you in the wind in the trees and I will look for you among the stars where you will surely be.” 

As previously reported, Sidney Poitier’s death was confirmed last Friday, Jan. 7. The lasting legacy of the first African American man to be nominated for an Academy Award, then, five years later, win a Best Actor Oscar, has been celebrated by his legion of fans and his fellow celebrities alike.

Poitier is survived by his wife Joanna Shimkus, his six daughters, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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