Sidney Poitier’s Memorial Will Be Private Due to Pandemic, Family Says

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The family of Sidney Poitier on Friday offered a statement sharing details of the late actor-director’s planned memorial service.

“The Poitier family so appreciates the wonderful outpouring of love, support and affection for Sidney,” the statement began. “There have been many inquiries about an event to honor his life. At this time, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a private memorial service has been arranged for the family with the possibility of a more public memorial service should the virus’ numbers subside in the near future.”

More from The Hollywood Reporter

The Oscar-winning actor, whose multi-decade career included films To Sir, With Love and In the Heat of the Night, died Jan. 6 at the age of 94. He was the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best actor in 1963’s Lilies of the Field, in which Poitier played a traveling handyman who runs into a group of nuns and helps them create their dream chapel.

The Poitier family’s message emphasized that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor the filmmaker may donate to his favorite organizations such as The Children’s Defense Fund, The United Negro College Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association.

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