"The Greatest Of The Great Trees Has Fallen": Celebrities And Peers React To Sidney Poitier's Death

"The greatest of the 'Great Trees' has fallen."

Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and Lenny Kravitz are among the figures who have paid homage to the life of Sidney Poitier following the news of his death at the age of 94.

Poitier, the first Black man to win an Oscar, was declared the "last of the Great Trees" to fall by Winfrey, who posted a photo of the two together.

"I treasured him. I adored him. He had an enormous soul I will forever cherish. Blessings to Joanna and his world of beautiful daughters," Winfrey wrote.

Twitter: @Oprah

Oscar winner Viola Davis recalled a dinner with Poitier and described his impact on her life as radical.

"The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we, as Black folks, mattered!!!" wrote Davis before she shared some famous words of wisdom Poitier once gave.

"You told us, 'If your dreams do not scare you, they're not big enough'! I put this quote on my daughter's wall."

This is a big one. No words can describe how your work radically shifted my life. The dignity, normalcy, strength, excellence and sheer electricity you brought to your roles showed us that we, as Black folks, mattered!!! It was an honor... https://t.co/xaPAjAlRtR

Twitter: @violadavis

"I am because of him," actor Colman Domingo wrote on Twitter.

Until I can properly eulogize him later. Heart broken. I am because of him. He blazed a tremendous path for thespians such as me. I am forever grateful. Standing O for this giant.

Twitter: @colmandomingo

"There is no man in this business who has been more of a North Star for me than Sidney Poitier," actor and film executive Tyler Perry wrote.

Perry shared his memories of a "life changing" trip to South Africa with Poitier alongside the late Cicely Tyson.

"Selfishly, I wanted to hold them both captive for the hours long trip as I literally sat at their feet and listened to their wisdom and experiences," he recalled on Facebook.

Around this time last year Cicely Tyson was releasing her book and promoting it. I had no idea she would pass away shortly thereafter. Now, to wake up this morning to a call that Sidney Poitier has passed away... continued: https://t.co/WWbsTgh1U0

Twitter: @tylerperry

Actor Billy Dee Williams described Poitier as a "kind soul who changed the lives of so many, and a hero to all."

You were an incredibly beautiful, kind soul who changed the lives of so many, and a hero to all. The world was a much better place because you were in it, and we will miss you. RIP dear #SidneyPoitier πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’”

Twitter: @realbdw

"Thank you for kicking down the doors. Thank you will never be enough for your blood sweat tears and determination," Taraji P. Henson wrote.

"We will always hold you in our hearts and forever speak your name," said famed choreographer and actor Debbie Allen.

#SidneyPoitier, your last sunset with us is the dawn of many generations rising in the path of light you blazed. We will always hold you in our hearts and forever speak your name. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈ

Twitter: @msdebbieallen

"Thank you forever," said filmmaker Ava DuVernay.

β€œI'm on the porch of our little home on Cat Island in the Bahamas. Evening turns the sky a bright burnt orange. My mother and father fan the smoke from green palm leaves. My sister Teddy takes me in her arms to rock me to sleep.” Rest in triumph, Mr. Poitier. Thank you forever.

Twitter: @ava

"He showed us how to reach for the stars," wrote Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg.

If you wanted the sky i would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high.. To Sir… with Love Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars

Twitter: @WhoopiGoldberg

Comedian and actor Kim Fields described Poitier as "Hollywood royalty."

Sir Sidney… Caribbean King Hollywood Royalty Civil Rights Warrior πŸ™ŒπŸ½πŸ™ŒπŸ½πŸ™ŒπŸ½ #sidneypoitier

Twitter: @KimVFields

"The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream," Kravitz said.

Sir #SidneyPoitier, your brilliant light will never dim. The doors you opened and paths you created will continue to make way for those with a dream. You showed the world that with vision and grace, all is possible. πŸ“Έ: Mathieu Bitton

Twitter: @LennyKravitz

"A great friend, I learned a lot from watching Sidney and how he carried himself with such grace and class," shared Magic Johnson.

A great friend, I learned a lot from watching Sidney and how he carried himself with such grace and class. May he rest in peace. Cookie and I send our prayers to the entire Poitier family!

Twitter: @MagicJohnson

"This is a monumental loss," wrote 30 Rock actor Keith Powell, who shared that Poitier had been the inspiration for his career.

This is a monumental loss. Sidney Poitier is quite literally the reason why I wanted to become an artist. Almost everyone I know has heard about the time I met him and embarrassed myself. There are very few people that I quake in the presence of. Rest easy, GOAT. #sidneypoitier

Twitter: @KeithPowell

"A leader and a groundbreaker," wrote actor Jason Alexander.

Sidney Poitier was everything. A consummate, powerful actor. A man of grace and innate dignity. A leader and a groundbreaker. A good and gentle soul. I cherish his work . Sympathy and peace to his family and loved ones. #RIPSidneyPoitier

Twitter: @IJasonAlexander

"An absolute legend," said Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Sidney Poitier. An absolute legend. One of the greats.

Twitter: @hitRECordJoe

Immediately dispelling the perverted, obscene, and misinformed notion of white supremacy in every beautifully human, artistic and dignified way = Sidney Poitier. https://t.co/aU4ptHBKCx

Twitter: @MarkRuffalo

A respected activist and humanitarian, Poitier was also remembered in political circles. News of his death was announced in a livestream lead by the prime minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis.

The national flag is to be flown at half mast in the Bahamas and at its embassies around the world out of respect for Poitier.

Sidney Poitier Poor People's Campaign, Resurrection City, Washington, D.C., May 1968 Powerful beyond the stage and screen.

Twitter: @BerniceKing

He was a "singular talent," said former president Barack Obama, who sent a message of condolences to family and fans.

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.

Twitter: @BarackObama

We were all so lucky to share a culture with Sidney Poitier, and benefit from his hand in shaping it.

Twitter: @HillaryClinton

Sidney Poitier leaves more than just a trailblazing career in Hollywood. He established a legacy that broke down stereotypes and opened doors for Black actors who would follow in his footsteps. We honor his legacy and send strength to his loved ones during this difficult time.

Twitter: @MayorBowser

"What we have lost, the ancestors have gained," wrote Democratic Rep. LaKeshia Myers.

To Sir Sidney Poitier, with Love. What we have lost, the ancestors have gained. Thank you for all you did for us. #RIPSidneyPoitier

Twitter: @RepMyers