“Sir Sidney, your brilliant light will never dim. The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream.”
Hollywood is honoring legendary actor Sidney Poitier, who has passed away at the age of 94.
After the sad news broke on Friday morning, celebrities took to social media to react to Poitier’s death, sharing touching tributes and messages about the icon and civil rights activist, who made history in 1963 when he became the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.
“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg took to Twitter referencing the song, “To Sir, with Love,” which was featured in the film of the same name, which starred Poitier. “If you wanted the sky i would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high.. To Sir… with Love,” Goldberg tweeted. “Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars.”
“My condolences to his family and to all of us as well,” she added in another tweet.
Oscar winner Viola Davis posted a tribute on Instagram, writing, “This is a big one. No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life. The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we, as Black folks, mattered!!!”
Davis — who shared a photo of herself, her husband posing with Poitier in her post — added, “It was an honor for my husband and I to share lunch with you at Spagos. You told us, ‘If your dreams do not scare you, they’re not big enough’! I put this quote on my daughter’s wall. Rest well Mr. Poitier. Thank you! Thank you for leaving a legacy. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
Similarly, actor-singer Lenny Kravitz also honored Poitier on Instagram, posting several black-and-white photos, including a couple of sweet shots of himself posing alongside Poitier and Denzel Washington on a couch.
“Sir Sidney, your brilliant light will never dim,” Kravitz captioned the post. “The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream. You showed the world that with vision and grace, all is possible. Your excellence will always be the benchmark. Rest in divine peace, Bahamian King. My love and condolences go out to your beautiful family. #SidneyPoitier”
Tyler Perry posted a moving tribute, opening up about how much Poitier meant to him.
“Around this time last year Cicely Tyson was releasing her book and promoting it. I had no idea she would pass away shortly thereafter,” he wrote, alongside a series of photos of Poitier, including photos of the two together. “Now, to wake up this morning to a call that Sidney Poitier has passed away… all I can tell you is that my heart broke in another place.”
“The grace and class that this man has shown throughout his entire life, the example he set for me, not only as a black man but as a human being will never be forgotten,” Perry continued. “There is no man in this business who has been more of a North Star for me than Sidney Poitier. I’ll never forget inviting him and Cicely to fly to South Africa with me. Selfishly, I wanted to hold them both captive for the hours long trip as I literally sat at their feet and listened to their wisdom and experiences. It was life changing. All I can say is thank you for your life, thank you for your example, and thank you for your incredible gift. But most of all, thank you for being willing to share YOU to make us all better.”
Meanwhile, “The French Dispatch” star Jeffrey Wright tweeted, “Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love,” while “Frozen’s” Josh Gad called Poitier an “Icon. Iconoclast. Barrier breaker. Pioneer. Hero. Legend. All time great.” He added, “Goodbye to one of the most important and extraordinary Actors in the history of our industry. Thank you for shattering glass ceilings and paving new roads.”
Similarly, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt referred to Poitier as “an absolute legend” and “one of the greats. Director Ron Howard wrote that Poitier was “riveting to watch” and “one of cinema’s greatest leading men ever.” Howard went on to note that Poitier was “also an excellent director,” adding, “From the couple of times I had the honor of meeting him, an extraordinarily intelligent and gracious man. Watch a Poitier movie or two this week.”
Comedian Loni Love honored Poitier on Twitter, sharing a photo of herself with the icon. “What a thrill it was to meet the legendary actor Sidney Poitier.. he made us all feel proud and was an inspiration to us in an industry that at times could not be welcoming.. thank you Mr. Poitier rest well.”
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Garcelle Beauvais also posted a heartwarming pic of herself with Poitier, tweeting, “Rest in power mr Poitier! Your legacy will live on! Thank you for sharing your talent with us.”
See more tributes in the posts, below.