After the sad news broke on Friday morning, celebrities took to social media to react to Poitier's death, sharing touching tributes and messages about the icon and civil rights activist, who made history in 1963 when he became the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.
"The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg took to Twitter referencing the song, "To Sir, with Love," which was featured in the film of the same name, which starred Poitier. "If you wanted the sky i would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high.. To Sir… with Love," Goldberg tweeted. "Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars."
"My condolences to his family and to all of us as well," she added in another tweet.
Oscar winner Viola Davis posted a tribute on Instagram, writing, "This is a big one. No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life. The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we, as Black folks, mattered!!!"
Davis -- who shared a photo of herself, her husband posing with Poitier in her post -- added, "It was an honor for my husband and I to share lunch with you at Spagos. You told us, 'If your dreams do not scare you, they're not big enough'! I put this quote on my daughter's wall. Rest well Mr. Poitier. Thank you! Thank you for leaving a legacy. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️"
Similarly, actor-singer Lenny Kravitz also honored Poitier on Instagram, posting several black-and-white photos, including a couple of sweet shots of himself posing alongside Poitier and Denzel Washington on a couch.
"Sir Sidney, your brilliant light will never dim," Kravitz captioned the post. "The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream. You showed the world that with vision and grace, all is possible. Your excellence will always be the benchmark. Rest in divine peace, Bahamian King. My love and condolences go out to your beautiful family. #SidneyPoitier"
Tyler Perry posted a moving tribute, opening up about how much Poitier meant to him.
"Around this time last year Cicely Tyson was releasing her book and promoting it. I had no idea she would pass away shortly thereafter," he wrote, alongside a series of photos of Poitier, including photos of the two together. "Now, to wake up this morning to a call that Sidney Poitier has passed away... all I can tell you is that my heart broke in another place."
"The grace and class that this man has shown throughout his entire life, the example he set for me, not only as a black man but as a human being will never be forgotten," Perry continued. "There is no man in this business who has been more of a North Star for me than Sidney Poitier. I'll never forget inviting him and Cicely to fly to South Africa with me. Selfishly, I wanted to hold them both captive for the hours long trip as I literally sat at their feet and listened to their wisdom and experiences. It was life changing. All I can say is thank you for your life, thank you for your example, and thank you for your incredible gift. But most of all, thank you for being willing to share YOU to make us all better."
Meanwhile, "The French Dispatch" star Jeffrey Wright tweeted, "Sidney Poitier. What a landmark actor. One of a kind. What a beautiful, gracious, warm, genuinely regal man. RIP, Sir. With love," while "Frozen's" Josh Gad called Poitier an "Icon. Iconoclast. Barrier breaker. Pioneer. Hero. Legend. All time great." He added, "Goodbye to one of the most important and extraordinary Actors in the history of our industry. Thank you for shattering glass ceilings and paving new roads."
Similarly, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt referred to Poitier as "an absolute legend" and "one of the greats. Director Ron Howard wrote that Poitier was "riveting to watch" and "one of cinema's greatest leading men ever." Howard went on to note that Poitier was "also an excellent director," adding, "From the couple of times I had the honor of meeting him, an extraordinarily intelligent and gracious man. Watch a Poitier movie or two this week."
Comedian Loni Love honored Poitier on Twitter, sharing a photo of herself with the icon. "What a thrill it was to meet the legendary actor Sidney Poitier.. he made us all feel proud and was an inspiration to us in an industry that at times could not be welcoming.. thank you Mr. Poitier rest well."
#RIPSidneyPoitier One of cinema’s greatest leading men ever. Riveting to watch. Also an excellent director and from the couple of times I had the honor of meeting him, an extraordinarily intelligent and gracious man. Watch a Poitier movie or two this week. https://t.co/CDRGYIWRxH
Icon. Iconoclast. Barrier breaker. Pioneer. Hero. Legend. All time great. Goodbye to one of the most important and extraordinary Actors in the history of our industry. Thank you for shattering glass ceilings and paving new roads. #ripsydneypoitierpic.twitter.com/Kz9JdWaAI5
What a thrill it was to meet the legendary actor Sidney Poitier.. he made us all feel proud and was an inspiration to us in an industry that at times could not be welcoming.. thank you Mr. Poitier rest well. pic.twitter.com/EI6hRljryn
Sidney Poitier, the first Black man to win an Oscar, has died at the age of 94. The star of “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” and “Lilies of the Field,” for which he won Best Actor, was a trailblazer who will be mourned by so many for whom he opened the very doors of Hollywood.
“……..but the distillation of all that he had ever observed; all the unsingable heart song the ordinary man may feel but never utter, he gave voice to. And by that somehow joins the ages. -Arthur Miller pic.twitter.com/65Mwxmz45Q
Until I can properly eulogize him later. Heart broken. I am because of him. He blazed a tremendous path for thespians such as me. I am forever grateful. Standing O for this giant. pic.twitter.com/B6ZgNZF8MG
The debt we owe #SidneyPoitier for his insistence on acknowledging and respecting our humanity, as people of color and as artists is immeasurable. A giant, he was and will remain. #RIPhttps://t.co/eYcoOQwrMV
RIP Sidney Poitier, 94. When he answered an ad for actors, as an illiterate young man, the theatre owner sneered: ‘Go be a dishwasher.’ Sidney already was a dishwasher. Stung by the jibe, he vowed to prove him wrong. He became the first black man to win the Best Actor Oscar. pic.twitter.com/JNpBWi8nwk
RIP Sidney Poitier. One of the greatest actors of all time. His “In The Heat Of The Night” will always be on my top 10 film list. His line, “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” heralded in Black Power in a definitive, permanent way. It sends a thrill through my bones every time I see it.