Will Smith Pays Tribute to 'Icon' Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94 on Jan. 7.

Will Smith paid tribute to Sidney Poitier after the Academy Award-winning actor died on Jan. 7, at the age of 94. “An icon, legend, visionary, and true pioneer,” Smith captioned the candid pictures of him and Poitier.

“Thank you Sidney Poitier for breaking down barriers, creating the path and making it possible for there to be a Will Smith! Your legacy is eternal. Rest In Power.” 

The acting community and more have taken to social media to mourn the loss of the star, who was the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.  Among those were Poitier’s friend and fellow actor, Morgan Freeman.  

“Sidney was my inspiration, my guiding light, my friend. Sending love to Joanna and his family,” he tweeted next to a photo of him with his arm wrapped around the late star as they posed for a picture.  

Other stars who paid tribute included Viola Davis, Halle Berry and President Barack Obama.

Denzel Washington, who became the second Black man to win and Oscar for Best Actor in 2002 for his role in Training Day, honored the star.  

"It was a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend,” the Fences star said in a statement to ET. “He was a gentle man and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years. God bless him and his family." 

Poitier’s family also released a statement celebrating the actor, who they will remember as a “beautiful soul.” 


"His legacy will live on in the world, continuing to inspire not only with his incredible body of work, but even more so with his humanity," the statement said in part.

"We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to every single one of you for the outpouring of love from around the world. So many have been touched by our dad’s extraordinary life, his unwavering sense of decency and respect for his fellow man. His faith in humanity never faltered, so know that for all the love you’ve shown him, he loved you back."