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Oprah Opens Up About Profound Impact Sidney Poitier Had On Her Life

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Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier went one-on-one with Oprah.

Video Transcript

- In honor of Black History Month Oprah Winfrey broke out in tears while honoring her Hollywood inspiration.

- He's a trailblazer who paved the way for so many in the industry. Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier has the exclusive emotional interview.

KEVIN FRAZIER: Elliot and Lauren, Oprah joined me to celebrate the man who paved the way for so many. The living legend, Sidney Poitier.

SIDNEY POITIER: They call me Mr. Tibbs.

OPRAH WINFREY: They call me Mr Tibbs.

KEVIN FRAZIER: I want to ask you about Sidney Poitier's importance in Hollywood. And I say that in not just his movies, but his position in Hollywood.

OPRAH WINFREY: There is no one on Earth I love more. There's no one who I have greater respect or regard for more.

KEVIN FRAZIER (VOICEOVER): Sidney was the first Black man to win an Academy Award. "Lilies of the Field" earned him the Oscar for Best Actor. And that night in 1964 impacted a 10-year-old Oprah and countless others forever.

OPRAH WINFREY: I was profoundly, deeply, sincerely moved by that moment, because I had never seen we were being called colored people at the time. I had never seen a colored man look like that. And I just thought, if he could do that I wonder what I could do.

KEVIN FRAZIER: Wow.

OPRAH WINFREY: And that was at 10 years old. And because he did that, I was able to do what I have been able to do in the world. And every single other black person who followed, it only happened because he was able, not just to do that, but to be that.

KEVIN FRAZIER: And tune in to ET tonight. Viola Davis is honoring the late Cicely Tyson, you don't want to miss it. For Entertainment Tonight, I'm Kevin Frazier.

- And look for more of the day's Hollywood headlines. Watch Entertainment Tonight at 7:30, right after CBS4 news at 7:00. Can't wait to see more of the actual interview.

- I know you like to read books. His autobiography is one of the best around. He was born in the Bahamas and has a connection to Miami. Read it, it's fantastic.