Sidney Poitier Had 6 Daughters Including Gina Who Unexpectedly Died in 2018 — No Cause of Death Was Revealed

Esther NJeri
Jan 10, 2022
11:30 A.M.
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Sidney Poitier made his mark in 1964 when he became the first African American to take home the Academy Award for Best Actor. However, away from the big silver screens, the legendary actor took pride in being a doting father to six daughters.

Sidney Poitier is well known for his roles in films that dealt with issues of race and race relations, such as "In the Heat of the Night," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "To Sir, with Love."

But away from acting, the Hollywood trailblazer was a man of incredible moral grit and grace, a loving and devoted husband to Joanna Shimkus, and an adoring and supportive father to his six daughters. 

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Left: The actor poses with his family. Photo: Instagram/Anika Poitier. Right: Actor Sidney Portier attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. Photo: Getty Images

Beloved as he was, his death shocked many far and wide. On Thursday, the "Lilies of the Field" passed on at his Los Angeles home, surrounded by family and friends. He was 94.

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The star leaves behind a legacy that inspires many and a family that adored him. In a statement after his death, his daughters shared that Poitier was a 'guiding light' who lit up everyone's lives.

Sidney Poitier holding his Academy Award circa the 1960s | Source: Getty Images

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According to his family, Poitier will live on in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren through every act of kindness and compassion, every curious inquiry, and every belly laugh.

MEET THE STAR'S DAUGHTERS

Poitier was a proud father to the late Gina, Sherri, Pamela, Beverly, Anika, and Sydney. He shares his first four girls with his first wife, Juanita Hardy. The couple's marriage lasted between 1950 and 1965.

Sidney Poitier & Family during The 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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The last two are his with his second wife Joanna Shimkus, whom he remained married to from 1976 until his demise. Anika and Sydney, who often accompanied their father to events, followed in the actor's footsteps.

Anika has carved a Hollywood career in directing, while Sydney is a well-known actress. Born in 1976, Sydney studied and graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Joanna Shimkus, daughters and Sidney Poitier during 1989 United Negro College Fund Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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She went on to land her first role in the series "First Years," followed by other films such as "Homecoming," "Veronica Mars," Joan of Arcadia," and "Chicago P.D." 

THE UNEXPECTED PASSING OF GINA

As the family mourns the loss of their family patriarch, they cannot help but remember another member of the family who passed on just years before Poitier

Sidney Poitier speaks onstage during the 2016 Carousel Of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 8, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

Gina passed on in 2018, and while her family did not disclose the cause of her death, they said it was quick and unexpected. As per her obituary, Gina studied fine arts at SUNY Albany.

The 57-year-old was a wife, a mother of four, and a passionate and dedicated fashion designer. She co-owned Bejai Designs, a boutique that catered to plus-sized women. 

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