While the loss of Sidney Poitier is sad and not the way anyone wanted to start the new year, admirers of the 94-year-old can find solace in the fact that he lived a very full life. Not only was Poitier a trailblazing actor and history maker with his Oscar win in 1964, but behind the cameras, he was a proud father of six girls: Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, Gina (who passed in 2018), Anika and Sydney. The first four were from his first marriage to Juanita Hardy, which lasted from 1950 to 1965. The last pair came from his marriage to Joanna Shimkus, his wife until the end of his life. Anika and Sydney, whom he was most seen with at events, have both had notable careers in Hollywood (Sydney is a well-known actress, Anika has done a lot of directing).
During an interview with Oprah Winfrey years ago, the actor admitted that he’d tried to be “a little hard” on his children, but in a positive way.
“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,” he said at the time. “That pleases me, because my values are not constricting. They are human values. My kids are quite intelligent—all six of them.”
And for all the acclaim the star received in his life for his work, the praise he most treasured was from his girls.
“After I won the Screen Actors Guild award [for lifetime achievement], one of my daughters said to me, ‘You’re pretty good, Dad,'” he said in the interview. “Now this is a kid who most of the time thinks I’m just an old fuddy-duddy, so I know when she says things like that, she’s saying a lot more.”
We love the laid back images of the actor with his girls at home, like this shot of him with eldest daughter Beverly:
But there are a number of photos of Sidney and the Poitier girls that go way back. We gathered a few to honor one aspect of the legend’s life that wasn’t always in front of cameras: his family life.