Sidney Poitier, the legendary actor and activist who recently died in the Bahamas at the age of 94, has died. He was survived by five of his six children, all of whom he had with his first wife Juanita Hardy. With tributes pouring in from filmmakers and public figures such as Bernice King, the entertainment industry and fans alike have been shaken by news of Sidney Poitier’s death.
The lawyer and daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. dubbed him “powerful beyond the stage and screen.”
Sidney Poitier passes away
Ascertaining the year and day of Sidney Poitier’s death is difficult. In January 2022, he died in his sleep on 6 January.
He said he was “conflicted with great sadness and a sense of celebration” after learning of Sir Sidney Poitier’s death.”
“Sadness that he would no longer be here to tell him how much he means to us, but celebration that he did so much to show the world that those from the humblest beginnings can change the world and that we gave him his flowers while he was with us,” the deputy prime minister added.
A cause of death was not mentioned.
In 1963, he became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for his role in Lillies Of The Field, making history as the first African-American male star.
In the early 1960s, Sidney Poitier starred in To Sir With Love, In The Heat Of The Night, and Look Who’s Coming To Dinner.
Who is Juanita Hardy, Sidney Poitier’s first wife?
Juanita Hardy married Laurence Poitier on April 29, 1950. She was formerly a dancer and model when they first met. They were together for 15 years until their split in 1965. The couple had four girls together: Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, and Gina. They were born and raised in Stuyvesant, New York.
In 2018, their youngest daughter Gina died suddenly – she was married to her high school sweetheart Gaetan Gouraige and they had four children.
Hardy earned a master of science in mathematics from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Livingstone College.
She spent the bulk of her career at IBM as a management consultant, leaving the firm as the country’s top state and local outsourcing expert. Overall, she worked for IBM for over 31 years until 2005. Since then, Hardy has established her own company, Tiger Management, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
According to The Mirror, while they were married, Sidney Poitier had a nine-year relationship with actress Diahann Carroll after meeting on the set of Porgy and Bess in 1959.
In the fall of 1965, the entertainment world was shocked to learn that Hollywood had passed away at age 42. She died after a long illness, making her his second spouse.
While he was still in love with Joan Crawford (who rejected him) and mourning his first wife’s death, he took up with a beautiful new woman named Joanna Shimkus.
He eventually tied the knot with Joanna Shimkus in 1976, and they had two daughters: Anika and Sydney. Sydney can be found on Instagram, where she posts frequently. She has yet to speak about her father’s death, however.