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Sidney Poitier Passes Away At 94, Leaves Behind Nova Scotian Wife + Other Connections To The Province

Actor Sidney Poitier and actress wife, Joanna Shimkus.

Sidney Poitier’s storied acting career will go down in history. He passed away January 6, 2022 at the age of 94 in the Bahamas. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

Poitier was the first Black winner of the best actor Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field. He was considered a legend in Hollywood who brought diversity to the scene in the 1950’s and 1960’s and may best be known for his role in “To Sir, With Love”.

What many don’t know is Sidney’s wife was a Bluenoser from Nova Scotia. On October 30, 1943, Joanna Shimkus, who would later add Poitier to her last name, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her father served in The Royal Canadian Navy.

She would move to Montreal and onto Paris, where she worked as a fashion model and would catch the attention of movie talent scouts.

When Sidney and Joanna accepted roles in “The Lost Man”, those decisions would change their lives forever. Here Joanna would meet her future husband, Sidney Poitier.

They would marry in 1976 right around the same time Shimkus retired from acting. Poitier would later tell Closer Weekly, “There is one key ingredient my wife has helped me to recognize over the years, and that is the importance of articulating love for one another on a daily basis.”

Poitier and Shimkus had two children, Anika and Sydney Tamiia, who is also an actor.  They have three grandkids, one from Sydney Tamiia and two from Anika.

Sidney Poitier also starred in the 1961 drama film, A Raisin In The Sun, which was directed by Glace Bay, Cape Breton Island native and St. Francis Xavier University Alumnus, Daniel Petrie.

A Raisin in the Sun, from left, Louis Gossett Jr, Ruby Dee, and Sidney Poitier. (Wikicommons)

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