Sydney Tamiia Poitier

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11/15/1973, Los Angles, California, USA

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  • Credits
  • Biography
  • Daughter of Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier. Graduated from New York University. Featured as one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2001. Niece of Cyril Poitier. Daughter of Joanna Shimkus.

    Birth Name:

    Sydney Tamiia Poitier



    Birth Place:

    Los Angles, California, USA

    Also Known As

    Sydney Poitier

  • Photos (5)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • (On auditioning for TV series Abby) Sydney: I hadn't even thought of auditioning for a sitcom, because I didn't feel that it was a genre I had any talent for whatsoever, but my agent sent me the script and I thought, Wow, this is well developed and witty and intelligent. It wasn't your typical sitcom--you know, setup--punch line--so I went on the audition. I didn't make it at first, so I kind of forgot about it, and I was actually a little bit relieved. I thought, Okay, I tested the waters of the comedy genre, and now I can retreat to my safe drama haven. But about a week later I got a call saying they wanted me back in, and it moved superfast from there. I got the job on Friday, and by the next Friday we'd taped the pilot. It all happened boom-boom-boom. It was crazy--a total baptism by fire.

    • (On her father) Sydney: For an actress, it's priceless having somebody to talk to who's a veteran of the business. And people are naturally curious [about me], because I share the same name with him. I mean, you really can't ignore it. It's funny: I use "Tamiia" [professionally], because the Screen Actors Guild said you can't have two actors with the same exact name.

    • (On her parents) Sydney: They were always supersupportive. But I was encouraged to have some sort of backup plan. They wanted me to be cautious and to know just how difficult it is to have an acting career. So while they were supportive, they were also smart and tried to get me to think things through.

    • Sydney: I've found out that I really, really enjoy comedy. It's got a rhythm all its own. When I did theater in college, I was petrified before I went onstage. But being in front of live audiences has loosened me up. It's been good desensitization for me. Sitcom audiences are different-they're totally on your side.

    • (On her career) Sydney: I've tried to carve out a niche for myself. You know, having a career in this business is very hard to do. It was a little bit easier for me than it would be not having that name sort of pique people's curiosity. I think I got a lot more auditions that way. There were certainly higher expectations placed on me. And people have pre-conceived notions of me before I walk into a room because they're so familiar with my father. So, that actually works against you a little bit. I think having a career at all is very difficult. And because the times are so different now than when my dad had a career, it's inevitable that our careers are going to be very, very different--which is unfortunate. I wish there was material like that around today.

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    Trivia (14)

    • Sydney has been acting since 1998.

    • Sydney's uncle, Cyril Poitier died of cancer on 13 November 1991.

    • Sydney has a sister Anika Poitier who is also working in the TV and movie industry.

    • Sydney appeared on 8 episodes of Joan of Arcadia as Rebecca Askew.

    • Sydney's father, Sidney Poitier was a breakthrough start in that he defyed racial stereotyping and allwed other black actors to get roles in mainstream films.

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