Social media has been flooded with tributes to the late Sidney Poitier since news of his death broke, with several celebrities remembering the actor on their respective Instagram accounts over the weekend.
Poitier, who was the first Black person and Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 94 on Thursday. By Sunday Will Smith, John Travolta, and Jamie Foxx along with various others had all honored his legacy online.
"An icon, legend, visionary, and true pioneer," Smith captioned photos of himself with 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."
Travolta posted a photo of himself with Poitier along with a quote from the actor that read: "We must be citizens of the world."
"I know he was right," Travolta noted, according to the Daily Mail.
Foxx meanwhile wrote a lengthy Instagram post in remembrance of Poitier.
"From the moment Sidney Poitier was born he was destined for greatness," Foxx wrote, recounting the star's "artistic battle" as a Black actor.
"But he didn’t let racism or double standards stand in his way … he was unfazed," Foxx continued. "And he proved that by having the audacity to be the first black leading man to win An Oscar in 1964 for his performance in the movie Lillies of the field … and at the same time being a human spark for the civil rights movement … as giving as he was in front of the camera … He was just as giving to all he came in contact with him outside of the glitz and lights."
Foxx went on to describe Poitier as not just "one of the biggest and brightest stars on the planet" but also as a teacher.
"If you got a chance to meet him or just watch him from a far … The one teaching he left us was that no matter what color you are, Or where you are from … LIVE FREE!" he wrote. "Tank you Sidney for the 94 years of strength … talent … and audacity all wrapped in beautiful black skin … REST IN POWER."
Poitier was selective with his roles, taking care to portray characters that did not fuel the old Hollywood idea that Black actors could appear only in demeaning contexts as shoeshine boys and maids. He won his history-making Best Actor Oscar for "Lilies of the Field" in 1963 before going on to star in several other notable films including "A Patch of Blue," "The Blackboard Jungle," and "A Raisin in the Sun."
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