THE FAMOUS ACTOR SIDNEY POITIER MET AND FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS WIFE WHILE THEY WERE WORKING ON A MOVIE TOGETHER.

Sidney Poitier was the first Black man to win an Oscar. He acted for over 60 years and helped many other Black actors by showing what they could do.

When he died on January 6 at the age of 94, many people praised him. Barack Obama, a former President, said Sidney was an amazing talent who showed dignity and grace.

Another actor, Denzel Washington, said it was an honor to know Sidney. He called him a kind person who helped open doors for all of them when those doors had been shut for a long time.

Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier at the 39th Academy Awards in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, 10th April 1967. He is presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

After getting his first big role in the movie Blackboard Jungle in 1955, Sidney Poitier acted in 55 movies and TV shows. He’s famous for breaking racial barriers in Hollywood.

They say, “Behind every successful man is a woman.” That was true for Sidney Poitier. He married Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus in 1976. But before her, he was already married, had four kids, and had an affair.

Sidney Poitier was the youngest of seven kids. He spent his first ten years on Cat Island in the Bahamas, where his dad farmed. The family would go to Miami to sell things. That’s where Poitier was born unexpectedly, three months early. Because of that, he got U.S. citizenship.

Hollywood honors actor Sidney Poitier at the site of his star on the Walk of Fame on January 08, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

After moving to the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau, Sidney Poitier went to America when he was 15. He lied about his age and served in World War Two as a teenager.

After leaving the army, he worked as a dishwasher. Then, he got a chance to audition for the American Negro Theatre in Harlem, New York. It was his second try. The first time, when he was 18, they said he couldn’t act because of his accent.

A year and a half later, Sidney Poitier went back to the production company for another audition. This time, he got a spot in the program, starting his career. He won many awards throughout his career.

More than ten years later, he became the first Black actor to win an Oscar for the movie “Lilies of the Field.” But his most important role might have been in “The Lost Man,” where he met his future wife, Joanna Shimkus. This happened in 1969, four years after he divorced his first wife, Juanita Hardy.

That was also the year after he ended a nine-year affair with actress Diahann Carroll.

Sidney Poitier with his wife Joanna Shimkuss; circa 1970; New York.
(Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)

Sidney was married to Juanita Hardy for 15 years, from 1950 to 1965. But his marriage to Joanna Shimkus lasted a long time, and they had two daughters together.

“We were meant to be together,” Joanna said in 1998.

Between 1972 and 2010, Joanna took a break from acting to raise their daughters, Anika and Sidney. Both of their daughters followed in their parents’ footsteps.

Anika directed a movie called “Black Irish,” where Joanna was also an executive producer. Meanwhile, Sidney acted in “Veronica Mars” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof.”

Sidney Poitier and wife Joanna Shimkus during “Twisted” Premiere at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Sidney Poitier talked about how he and his wife made their relationship work in an interview with Closer. He said, “My wife taught me something important over the years: saying ‘I love you’ every day.”

“My wife and kids mean everything to me,” Sidney told People magazine in 2016. Joanna Shimkus added another thing that helped them stay together: “We’ve been together for 49 years, and I’m a good cook. I cook every night and take good care of him.”

Even with all his achievements, like winning an honorary Academy Award and receiving medals from the U.S. President and the Queen, Sidney always knew family was most important.

Sidney Poitier (left) with wife Joanna Shimkus during 2004 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

The esteemed actor would often get together with his wife, ex-wife, and his six daughters, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Looking back in history, we’ve seen many examples of couples having difficulty navigating an interracial relationship.

But according to Joanna, it wasn’t a problem for her and her husband.

Sidney Poitier, wife Joanna Shimkus and daughters attend the opening of “Dreamgirls” on March 20, 1983 at the Shubert Theater in Century City, California.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

In a documentary called “Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light,” Joanna Shimkus talked about her relationship with Sidney Poitier. She said, “I grew up in Canada, and I never felt prejudice like in America. We’ve never had any problems, maybe because we live a quiet life. But I never really saw him as a Black man; I just saw him as a wonderful person.”

Rest in peace, Sidney Poitier. People all over the world will always remember you for your talent, grace, and strength in tough times.

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