Sidney Poitier's Daughter Is All Grown up and Following in Her Father's Footsteps

Sydney Tamiia Poitier, the daughter of award-winning actor Sir Sidney Poitier, has been in the family business of show business for almost 20 years now. 

The Bahamian-American actor, director, author, and diplomat Sidney Poitier married Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus almost 43 years ago. Together they have two gorgeous daughters. 

Their youngest, Sydney Tamiia, has been an actress since 1998. She was determined to follow in her father’s footsteps early on when she enrolled at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts which she completed with a bachelor’s degree in acting. Further studies at Stella Adler Studio of Acting was her next move. Her first role was on television for a drama series called “First Years”, in 2001.

Today, Sydney Tamiia plays Detective Sam Shaw on the Canadian television drama series called “Carter”.


Now a mom of one and wife to Dorian Heartsong, the actress openly shares her love and respect for her father whom she calls, “the wisest, gentlest person, I know.”

Sidney has led an incredible life, filled with stories of challenges, survival, and triumph. 

He was born to poor immigrant parents and grew up in the tropical islands of the Bahamas. He moved to New York at the age of 16 and worked as a dishwasher in several establishments. He enlisted in the Army in  1943, and after his service, he joined the North American Negro Theater. His first big break on Broadway was a role in “Lysistrata”. He made his first film debut in “Blackboard Jungle”. And that began a steady stream of more roles with highlights like, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs”, and “Lilies of the Field”, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

At 92, he has received many awards and honors throughout his illustrious career, including the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award and SAG Life Achievement Award.  He also was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, made Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974, and appointed non-resident Bahamian Ambassador to Japan.

The nonagenarian considers his six daughters, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, his greatest accomplishments. And it was during his 90th birthday celebration that he managed to gather his whole family for a rare photo.

He opened up to Oprah Winfrey about what he was like as a father. He said he was “a little tough on his children” he explained,

“In what I expect and demand of them in terms of values. My children respect my values, and I can see some of those values in them. That pleases me because my values are not constricting. They are human values. My kids are quite intelligent—all six of them.” 

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