Sidney Poitier’s cause of death revealed weeks following his passing

sidney poitier cause of death
Photo by Jason Kempin via Getty Images for The Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children's Foundation

Sidney Poitier‘s cause of death was revealed on Jan. 18, almost two weeks after the trailblazing actor’s passing. 

In the death certificate obtained by TMZ, Poitier’s cause of death is attributed to a combination of heart failure, Alzheimer’s dementia, and prostate cancer. He died in his Beverly Hills home on Jan. 6 at the age of 94.

The document also noted that the star had been suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia and prostate cancer for years and that his future burial plans would be cremation. 

Poitier was well known for his work on and off the screen. His talents ranged from being an actor/director to an activist. In 1964, Poitier was the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1963’s Lilies of the Field. 

Aside from professional accolades, Poitier fought for civil rights with his close friend of almost 80 years, Harry Belafonte. The pair helped assemble the March on Washington and organized Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial following his assassination in 1968. 

Last week, one of Poitier’s daughters, Sydney, wrote a heartfelt message following his passing on her Instagram account. In it, she describes that despite her father being ill, there was “no real way to prepare for this.”

“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,” she said. The actress added while listing that his accomplishments helped “changed the landscape for everyone who came after him.”

Further on in the tribute, Sydney recounted her father’s “depth” of goodness by sharing a story of how he “prevented” her from killing bugs. She said the reason the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner star forbid that action was because of the effects he knew it would have on a “cellular level.” 

“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… He knew on a cellular level that if he hurt anyone or anything, he hurt everyone and everything. He treated anyone who crossed his path as his equal and offered them his full presence.” 

Sydney’s final remarks touched points on her grieving process. She shared that she’s not only giving the loss of her father but also the world’s loss of “goodness.” The 48-year-old also mentioned what she would miss most about the actor: laying her head in his shoulder, her daughter spending quality time with Poitier, and hearing his laughter. 

Sydney wrapped up her statement by expressing how much she will miss her father. She wrote, “I will miss you more than words can express Dad. I will feel you in the warmth of the sun on my back, I will hear you in the wind in the trees, and I will look for you among the stars where you will surely be. I love you.”

Sydney’s post was one of many tributes shared in honor of Poitier’s death. Others included Tyler Perry, Oprah, Viola Davis, Harry Belafonte, and Denzel Washington.