Oprah Winfrey is no longer in the spotlight every day, but can still be seen regularly in a documentary like Tina. She also produced the documentary about Sidney Poitier that premiered last week at the Toronto Film Festival and is now on Apple TV.
Actor Sidney Poitier passed away in January 2022 at the age of 94 and was a friend and mentor of Oprah. Sidney made history in Hollywood in several ways. He was the first black man to win an Oscar for best actor for Guess who’s coming to dinner.
Story in his words
The documentary is itself narrated by Sidney. It is his story in his words, for no one can tell it like he can. That says enough about Sidney. Never thinking about his skin color or possible prejudice, the actor traveled from the Bahamas to Hollywood as a young man – and ended up in a completely different world.
Oprah says that the documentary is supported by the many film material they shot in 2012 for a masterclass that her production company produced. “He made the film with foresight, as much as I hate that. He said he would only tell everything once. His family didn’t even know some things about him and it’s nice that it was caught on film when he’s gone, he found.”
One of his daughters says that the special man he was in the film, he was also at home in his quiet moments. Nor did they know what their father did when they were young. They thought he was a musician because they once heard him play the saxophone with Louis Armstrong and Paul Newman. Then they thought he was a contractor when they saw a movie of him building a church. “It’s strange to grasp what acting is as a child, when you see your own father doing different things in a movie.”
The documentary is full of celebrities who knew Sidney in life, such as Spike Lee and Quincy Jones. Oprah says: “With the roles in movies like his, he changed the culture all over the earth. What he did was unprecedented, even turning down roles. For example, Sidney refused to take on a role of janitor, where his daughter would be killed but the father would accept that. That character paid extremely well, but Sidney thought it was impossible for a father to leave it at that.”
“I got a lot of criticism from black people at the time because I hugged white people and wouldn’t invite enough black into my shows. When I told Sidney that, he said it’s always a challenge to make other people’s dreams come true.”
She concludes with: “Of all the people in the world, he is the most special man in the world to me. He was my anchor.”
The CBS Morning interview is below and on YouTube. Here at Daily Mail are photos from the premiere.