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Home Celebrity News Denzel Washington Remembers Sidney Poitier: 'Friend. Mentor. Confidant. Example. Father Figure. Gentleman....

Denzel Washington Remembers Sidney Poitier: ‘Friend. Mentor. Confidant. Example. Father Figure. Gentleman. Buddy.’

Denzel Washington struggled with the popular sentiment that he was “the next Sidney Poitier.” In one way, the insinuation that Black actors could only be

compared to other Black actors was inherently biased. Then again, it’s a pretty damn flattering comparison.

There was no uncertainty, however, when it came the actual relationship between Washington and Poitier, the A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and In the Heat of the Night (1967) acting legend who died last week at the age of 94.

Washington memorialized Poitier Tuesday in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment promoting Washington’s new film, The Tragedy of Macbeth.

“Friend. Mentor. Confidant. Example. You know, father figure. Gentleman. Buddy. All of the above,” Washington said in describing the roles Poitier played in his life. “We talked about everything, just he and I.”

In reaction to a Variety essay published calling Poitier “the most important actor in American in history” for such trailblazing roles as Homie Smith in Lilies in the Field (1963) and Virgil Tibbs in In the Heat of the Night, Washington said it will take time for him to process the magnitude of Poitier’s career. For now, Washington is content reminiscing about the quiet moments he spent with Poitier away from show business.

“I think of him more now just as I knew him,” he said. “[I would stop by] the guy’s house and we’d sit around. Just to see him in pajamas and stuff, you know, I got to know him like that, like in his house clothes and walking around. And to hear him curse, I was like, ‘Oh, Mr. Tibbs!’ [laughs] You know, that sounds you silly, but those was the things you remember. … It’s like, ‘Man, I’m in Sidney Poitier’s living room!’”


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