From Denzel Washington to Halle Berry via Morgan Freeman and Billy Dee Williams, many African-American stars have paid tribute to actor Sidney Poitier, who died this Thursday at the age of 94.
“We have lost an icon, a hero, a mentor, a fighter, and a national treasure”. These are the words written by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas Chester Cooper about Sidney Poitier, who had dual citizenship, American and Bahamian. The first African-American to win the Oscar for Best Actor died on Thursday at the venerable age of 94.
Emblematic figure, avant-garde actor, symbol of freedom and defender of human rights, Sidney Poitier was awarded in 2009, from the hands of Barack Obama, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest distinction a civilian can get in the United States. The announcement of his death has logically aroused many reactions in Hollywood.
Selected tributes, starting with that of Barack Obama. “Through his revolutionary roles and his singular talent, Sidney Poitier embodies dignity and grace, revealing the power of films to bring us together. He has also opened the doors to a whole generation of actors. […]” the former White House tenant wrote on his Twitter account. A tribute illustrated by a photo where the presidential couple posed alongside the actor, who had just received his decoration.
The African-American community paid unanimous tribute to Sidney Poitier. In a statement, Denzel Washington states: “It has been a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentle man who opened doors for all of us, doors that had been closed to us for years. “
In 2002, the Oscars ceremony was the scene of a very moving moment when Denzel Washington won the statuette for Best Actor in front of Sidney Poitier, who won the same evening with an honorary Oscar. To (re) discover below.
“Sidney was my inspiration, the light that guided me, my friend”, declares Morgan Freeman, who shares for the occasion a photo taken with the late actor.
Halle Berry also unveils a cliché with the actor. “My dear Sidney, a huge part of my soul weeps at the news of your death”, she says. “During your 94 years on this planet, you have left an indelible mark with your extraordinary talent, paving the way for black people to be seen and heard as we fully are. “
“What a legendary actor. One of a kind”, declares Jeffrey Wright, star of the Westworld series and recently seen in the credits of Dying Can Wait. “What a magnificent, gracious, warm, truly royal man.”
“Sidney showed us how to reach for the stars”, declares for its part the actress Whoopi Goldberg.
Author of plays, director, screenwriter, actor, producer … The talented Tyler Perry is multi-card. First African-American to own his own film studio, soberly named Tyler Perry Studios, the person split a tribute to Sidney Poitier on his Instagram account, declaring “to be heartbroken. The grace and class that this man has shown throughout his life, the example he set for me, not only as a black man but as a human being , will never be forgotten “, he writes.
Billy Dee Williams, legendary Lando Calrissian of the Star Wars saga, now 84 years old, for his part salutes the memory and the soul of the one “that changed the lives of so many people. The world was a better place because you were in it. And you will be missed.”
“No words can describe how your work has radically changed my life” finally writes Viola Davis. “The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer energy that you brought to your roles showed us that we as black people matter !!! It was an honor …”
Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson … 14 pioneering African-American personalities in cinema and television: