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Halle Berry pays tribute to 'father figure' Sidney Poitier

Halle Berry pays tribute to 'father figure' Sidney Poitier
/ © Cover Media

Halle Berry has remembered late actor Sidney Poitier in an emotional tribute.

The legendary performer, who made history as the first Black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor, died last week at age 94.

In her tribute, published in Variety, the Bruised star recalled how Poitier helped fill the gap her father left.

"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," she wrote, noting that she used to rewatch his 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner as a way to cope with growing up biracial.

The actress also recalled meeting the Lilies in the Field star for the first time while researching for her 1999 film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Berry was "speechless" after admiring him "from afar" for so long.

"I was so overwhelmed by his powerful presence, his regal aura, I could not get my words out. For several minutes, I just sat there and stared at him," the director wrote.

Their paths crossed again when she broke ground as the first Black woman to earn an Oscar for Best Actress after starring in 2001's 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," Berry remembered. "Our paths had crossed all those years earlier when I, wide-eyed and frizzy-headed, watched him in awe from my living-room sofa."

She concluded by acknowledging how they will always be "inextricably connected" by their achievements at the Academy Awards, and insisted she will always consider Poitier to be her "first mirror" and "the angel in the balcony watching over all of us".

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