Skip To Content

    Halle Berry Shared A Touching Story About Late Actor Sidney Poitier And When She Won The Best Actress Oscar

    "Sidney epitomized what a man should be."

    The world continues to mourn acting titan Sidney Poitier, the Hollywood icon who died last week at the age of 94.

    Poitier crosses his arms
    Walt Disney Television Photo Arc / ABC

    Halle Berry recently paid tribute to Poitier in a personal and quite touching essay for Variety.

    Halle Berry poses for a photo at a step-and-repeat
    Alberto Rodriguez / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

    In the essay, Berry reflects on how she admired Poitier since she was young, when her parents broke up as her father struggled with alcoholism. "As imperfect as my dad was, as deep of a wedge as his fury drove between us, I loved him, missed him, longed to have him close," she says.

    Berry holds a cup of wine in the audience
    Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC

    "In my mind's eye, and in my father's absence, Sidney epitomized what a man should be: unflappable and courageous, eloquent and proud, charming and handsome. He even physically resembled my father."

    Poitier looks in the distance
    Saeed Adyani / Walt Disney Television Photo Arc / ABC

    Sidney Poitier also became the first Black man to win the Oscar for Best Actor in 1963 for his performance in Lilies of the Field. In the essay, Berry also writes about seeing Poitier in the audience when she became the first Black woman to win Best Actress in 2002.

    Poitier holds his Oscar
    Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

    Berry won for the Marc Forster film Monster's Ball.

    "As I concluded my rambling speech I looked up and saw dear Sidney, high in the balcony seemingly with a halo surrounding him, looking over me as a proud father would," she wrote.

    Berry holds her Oscar
    Mike Nelson / AFP via Getty Images

    "Our paths had crossed all those years earlier when I, wide-eyed and frizzy-headed, watched him in awe from my living-room sofa. Decades later in that arena, our lives became inextricably connected — he, the first Black man to garner a leading-man Oscar, and I, the first Black woman to accomplish the same in my category."

    Berry delivers her Oscar speech
    Getty Images

    "I was as tongue-tied in that moment as I was when I'd initially met him, as moved as I still am when I watch his films."

    Berry extends her hand while delivering her Oscar speech
    Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images

    Read Berry's entire essay here.