Who are Sidney Poitier wives? Legendary actor survived by 5 daughters from 2 marriages

Who are Sidney Poitier wives? Legendary actor survived by 5 daughters from 2 marriages
Sidney Poitier's first wife was Juanita Hardy (right) and his second wife was Joanna Shimkus (Robin Platzer/Getty Images, Harry Croner/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Sidney Poitier died Thursday night, January 6, at age 94. He was known for films like 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,' 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Lilies of the Field.' In the light of his death, his fans have been digging up facts about his personal life. 

During his life, Poitier was married twice, the second one being the longer and more successful relationship, which sustained until his death. Poitier had children from both of his marriages and is now survived by five of his six daughters. Poitier first married Juanita Hardy on April 29, 1950. The pair had remained together for a total of 15 years, ahead of their divorce in 1965. The second marriage to Joanna Shimkus, happened on January 23, 1976, and they were together for 46 years prior to his death. Some of the other actors who recently died include Max Julien, Anthony 'AJ' Johnson, Kim Mi-soo, and Mike Mitchell


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Who is Juanita Hardy?

Juanita Hardy (LinkedIn)

Hardy was reportedly a dancer and model upon first meeting Poitier. The couple shared four daughters named Beverly, Pamela, Sherri and Gina, who they raised in Stuyvesant, New York. Gina Poitier, their youngest daughter, reportedly died in 2018.

From 1969 until 1973, Hardy attended Livingstone College where she studied mathematics. According to her LinkedIn profile, she received a master’s degree from George Washington University. From 1974 until her retirement in 2005, she worked at IBM. She began as a management consultant and left the company as the national leader for state and local outsourcing. Since then, Hardy has remained a successful businesswoman as the Founder and Managing Principal of Tiger Management Consulting Group, a business consulting services firm located in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Who is Joanna Shimkus?

Eleven years after his divorce, Poitier married Joanna Shimkus. In the American Masters PBS documentary 'Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light,' Shimkus revealed in a 1998 interview that on their wedding day, their two daughters were dressed as flower girls and actor Harry Belafonte participated as the groom's best man. When she was asked about whether navigating an interracial relationship was difficult, she said it wasn't an issue with them.


"I guess we were just destined to be [together]," she said at the time. "I grew up in Canada and I never really had any kind of prejudice — it's unlike America. I just never had those feelings. And we've never had a problem, actually. It could be that we lead a very quiet life. It could be that it's just the way it is, I don't really know. But I never really did see him as a Black man. I mean, I know he is Black, but I just saw him as a man, and he was just a wonderful person. An amazing human being."

Shimkus was born on October 30, 1943, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is a Canadian film actress who reportedly met Sidney while working on 'The Lost Man' in 1969. She moved to the US in the 1960s to pursue her dreams of being an actor and model. Before taking a 40-year-long break from the entertainment industry, she appeared in many movies. She made a comeback with the movie 'The Force' in 2018. The couple had two children together, Anika Poitier and Sydney Tamiia. 


In 2016, while receiving a lifetime achievement award, Poitier told People magazine, "My wife and my children mean the most to me." Shimkus added at the time the secret to their lasting relationship: "We've been together 49 years and I'm a good cook. I cook every night. ... I take good care of him."
In a separate emotional interview with Oprah Winfrey for the October 2000 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Poitier discussed his marriage and parenting style, admitting his kids "would be unlikely to say that I'm easy" as a dad. As for Shimkus: "She would tell you that I'm a perfectionist to a degree and that I ask of others a certain kind of loyalty to and respect for relationships. My wife would say that, on occasion, I'm a little tough on the children." He continued at the time, "In what I expect and demand of them in terms of values. My children respect my values, and I can see some of those values in them. That pleases me, because my values are not constricting. They are human values. My kids are quite intelligent — all six of them."

She also dished on what first attracted her to Poitier. "The thing that attracted me to him the most, I think, is his integrity and his honesty [and] his loyalty to his family. He's just an amazing human being. He's just a good, good, good person," she said, adding, "And he's cute too, yes! And he was especially gorgeous then. He still is too now, but he was very, very attractive then."

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