Fri | Dec 2, 2022

Sidney Poitier the man Oprah admired most

Published:Saturday | September 24, 2022 | 12:08 AM
Oprah Winfrey, a producer of ‘Sidney,’ poses at the premiere of the documentary film on September 21,  at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Oprah Winfrey, a producer of ‘Sidney,’ poses at the premiere of the documentary film on September 21, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph poses alongside a picture of the late Sidney Poitier, subject of the documentary film ‘Sidney’, at the premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph poses alongside a picture of the late Sidney Poitier, subject of the documentary film ‘Sidney’, at the premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Oprah Winfrey, left, a producer of ‘Sidney’, gestures to a photographer alongside the film’s director Reginald Hudlin, centre, and Sidney Poitier’s daughter Sherri at the premiere of the documentary film.Oprah Winfrey, left, a producer of ‘Sidney
Oprah Winfrey, left, a producer of ‘Sidney’, gestures to a photographer alongside the film’s director Reginald Hudlin, centre, and Sidney Poitier’s daughter Sherri at the premiere of the documentary film.Oprah Winfrey, left, a producer of ‘Sidney’, gestures to a photographer alongside the film’s director Reginald Hudlin, centre, and Sidney Poitier’s daughter Sherri at the premiere of the documentary film.
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Oprah Winfrey “adored” Sidney Poitier.

The 68-year-old TV star has joined forces with director Reginald Hudlin to make a new Apple TV documentary about the legendary actor - who died in January, aged 94 - and Oprah has revealed that her admiration for the film star extended well beyond his career achievements.

She told ET Canada: “There’s nobody I adored, admired, respected, and loved more. So, when Reginald came to me and asked, you know, would I be a part as a producer? I mean, you know, many times you have to think about things. It was an immediate … it was a yes that came right up out of my soul.”

Hudlin, 60, also has a huge amount of admiration for the late film star.

He shared: “I owe so much to him. I didn’t even understand what an integral part of my DNA it was until I started making the movie. And I said, oh, wait a minute. He’s not just a great actor. He’s not just a great director and producer. He’s part of my DNA of how I define manhood.”

Sidney Poitier was the first black winner of the Best Actor Oscar for his work on Lilies of the Field.

He grew up in the Bahamas, but was granted US citizenship after being born unexpectedly in Miami while his parents were visiting the US. He relocated to America when he was 15, landing his first movie role in 1955’s Blackboard Jungle.

The Hollywood icon was first nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for The Defiant Ones and made history with his win six years later.

Sidney Poitier’s death was announced by Fred Mitchell, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in The Bahamas.

He said at the time: “We’ve lost a great a Bahamian and I’ve lost a personal friend.”