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What did Sidney Poitier die of? Cause of death revealed

Sidney Poitier passed away due to heart failure, dementia, and cancer (Image via Michael Tran/Getty Images)
Sidney Poitier passed away due to heart failure, dementia, and cancer (Image via Michael Tran/Getty Images)

Hollywood legend Sidney Poitier passed away on January 6, 2022, at the age of 94. His cause of death was revealed nearly a week after his demise.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, the actor died of a “combination of heart failure, Alzheimer's dementia, and prostate cancer.” The death certificate also mentioned that he took his last breath at his Beverly Hills residence, and his body was cremated.

Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together. He also opened doors for a generation of actors. Michelle and I send our love to his family and legion of fans. https://t.co/zkYKFSxfKA

Poitier was reportedly born three months before his initial due date and struggled with health issues from the beginning of his life. As per The New York Times, later in life, the icon embraced a healthy lifestyle and eliminated alcohol, red meat, sugar, and milk from his diet.

Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993 at the age of 60. Although he had successful surgery, his health struggles increased with his age. He has also battled Alzheimer's and dementia over the years.

Poitier ultimately experienced cardiac arrest hours before his passing. The news of his death was confirmed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell and honored by Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton.

Notable personalities, including Harry Belafonte, Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, Tyler Perry, Viola Davis, and many others, mourned the loss of the actor.


A glance at Sidney Poitier’s career highlights

Sidney Poitier was the first Black actor to win Oscar for Best Actor (Image via Columbia Pictures/To Sir, With Love)
Sidney Poitier was the first Black actor to win Oscar for Best Actor (Image via Columbia Pictures/To Sir, With Love)

Sidney Poitier is considered to be one of the biggest stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood and is known as a trailblazing actor, director, and activist. In 1964, he became the first Bahamian-American to win an Oscar for Best Actor.

The legend spent nearly 76 years in the entertainment industry and appeared in classic films like Lilies of the Field, The Defiant Ones, Porgy and Bess, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, A Raisin in the Sun, In the Heat of the Night, Paris Blues and To Sir, With Love, among several others.

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In addition to the Academy Award, Sidney Poitier also received two Golden Globe Awards, one BAFTA and one Grammy. He received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1982 and earned 22nd place among male actors on the American Film Institute’s "100 Years...100 Stars" list.

The film icon was also granted a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. He received the Kennedy Center Honor in 1995 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2009.

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Sidney Poitier received a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, an Honorary Academy Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the BAFTA Fellowship Award for “outstanding lifetime achievement in film.”

Poitier is survived by his wife Joanna Shimkus, four daughters, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by his colleagues, contemporaries, and subordinates, but his legacy will be cherished for a lifetime.

Edited by Shaheen Banu
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