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Sidney Poitier’s daughter celebrates his ‘goodness’ in moving tribute

The late actor's daughter Sydney Poitier Heartsong said her father had a “deep reverence” for all beings that caused him to act with kindness.

Sydney Poitier Heartsong shared an emotional tribute to her late father, actor Sidney Poitier, that highlighted his "goodness."

In a heartfelt message she posted Tuesday on Instagram, Poitier Heartsong, the youngest of the Oscar winner's six daughters, wrote of her father's death on Jan. 6 at age 94, "There are no words for this. No real way to prepare for this. No prose beautiful enough, no speech eloquent enough to capture the essence of my dad.”

The former "Carter" star, whose mother is Poitier's second wife, Joanna Shimkus, referenced the Hollywood history her dad made, which included becoming the first Black actor to win an Oscar for best actor in 1964 for his performance in the film “Lilies of the Field.”

Poitier "quite literally changed the landscape for everyone who came after him," she wrote, adding, "He blazed a trail through rough and hostile terrain so those coming behind him could have a bit more ease on the journey."

Sidney Poitier and daughter Sydney Tamila Poitier
Actor Sidney Poitier and daughter Sydney Poitier Heartsong pose for photographers at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.David Livingston / Getty Images

"We know how graceful and wise he was. How powerful his strength of character and moral fortitude. But what I really want people to know is how GOOD he was," Poitier Heartsong wrote before detailing the many ways her father acted with kindness toward everyone he met. 

“I know people know he was good, but I don’t think they know the depth of his goodness. That it permeated every cell of his being. The sort of goodness that prevented him from killing even the tiniest of bugs,” she wrote.

"I am a wizard at removing a spider with a shot glass and a piece of paper because of him," she added.

Poitier Heartsong went on to explain that the "To Sir, With Love" star had a "deep reverence" for all creatures and understood the "interconnectedness" of life.

“He knew on a cellular level that if he hurt anyone or anything he hurt everyone and everything,” she wrote, adding that her dad treated everyone he met as his "equal."

"My grief is because I lost my Dad, but it is also because the world lost so much goodness," she wrote.

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Poitier Heartsong went on to say that even in her father's ailing health, when "his body grew weaker and his ability to communicate failed him," his goodness still "radiated" through his eyes and his smile.

"He was reminding us, particularly in these uncertain times, of the power of GOODNESS," she wrote. "That even when the body is fading and things seem to be falling apart around us, the goodness remains."

Poitier Heartsong concluded her post by saying that although the pain of losing her father feels "unbearable" at times, she soothes herself by knowing his goodness “lives on in his wife, his children, his grandchildren, in his movies and books, in every warm embrace he offered an adoring fan, every piece of advice he gave to those he mentored, every tiny bug he gently placed outside.”