LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and others took to social media Friday to remember groundbreaking actor Sidney Poitier who died at 94 years old.
Poitier's death was first announced by the Guardian Nassau newspaper, who confirmed the actor's passing with Bahamian Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell.
Following the news of his death, the hashtag "RIP King" began trending on Twitter. Tributes also began to pour in for Poitier, the first Black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor.
Poitier died at his home in Los Angeles, though a cause of death has not yet been released.
He is survived by his wife, Joanna, and six daughters.
CBS reporters were on hand at Poitier's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to gather local reaction to the death of the legendary actor. "He was iconic," said Nydia Cooper, a lifelong fan of Poitier's. Cooper traveled from Pasadena to pay her respects, "He led with dignity. That's what I remember about the roads that he chose," she continued.
Anita Dashiell-Sparks, a Distinguished Professor at the USC School of Dramatic Arts also joined the studio, along with Hollywood journalist Jeanne Wolf to discuss the legacy that Poitier left behind, not just on the screen but in the civil rights movement, and as a father. "He brought humanity," said Dashiell-Sparks, "He brought a depth of humanity, a depth of complexity and integrity to every role he embodied."
Hollywood Ambassador Gregg Donovan wanted to make it clear, the Poitier's legacy will live forever, in the hearts of all of the lives he touched, whether it be through a film, or his actions in the civil rights movement.
The Poitier family issued a statement on the passing of their patriarch on Friday afternoon:
"There are no words to convey the deep sense of loss and sadness we are feeling right now. We are so grateful he was able to spend his last day surrounded by his family and friends. To us Sidney Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist, and a man of incredible grace and moral fortitude, he was also a devoted and loving husband, a supportive and adoring father, and a man who always put family first. He is our guiding light who lit up our lives with infinite love and wonder. His smile was healing, his hugs the warmest refuge, and his laughter was infectious. We could always turn to him for wisdom and solace and his absence feels like a giant hole in our family and our hearts. Although he is no longer here with us in this realm, his beautiful soul will continue to guide and inspire us. He will live on in us, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren—in every belly laugh, every curious inquiry, every act of compassion and kindness. 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.
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."
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