To Sidney with Love
Poitier, 65, the first African-American to win a Best Actor Oscar (for 1963's Lilies of the Field) sat beaming with wife Joanna, 48, through the three-hour tribute and some playful jibes from emcee Harry Belafonte, 65, a longtime friend. Reminding the audience that the actor was also "one hell of a producer," Belafonte introduced Poitier's six daughters, ages 18 to 39.
The gala, at L.A.'s Beverly Hilton Hotel, was taped for broadcast April 4 on NBC. In closing, a grateful and modest Poitier typically expressed concern for the welfare of his fellow man. "I better take old Harry home," he said. "All this excitement is risky for a man of his age."