Friends, family, and admirers came to celebrate at the official premiere of Apple TV+’s Sidney, the Oprah-produced documentary about Sidney Poitier. Many stars walked the carpet, including Oprah and the legendary Cher, along with Sheryl Lee Ralph and Colman Domingo, the newly Emmy-winning actors who both credit Poitier as a career inspiration. In fact, Ralph got her start in a Poitier film.
Cher’s appearance truly spoke to us as Poitier fans. During red carpet interviews and in a conversation with Oprah, the icon gushed over how much Poitier meant to her—and we’ve never related to Cher so much.
At the premiere, Cher revealed that she hosted Poitier and his wife, Joanna, at barbecues over the years. “There was no one more talented than he was,” she said of Poitier. “He lifted my spirits up and I loved him.”
Sheryl Lee Ralph made headlines last week when she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Abbot Elementary. Ralph brought the house down with an unforgettable acceptance speech, but last night was all about celebrating her deep connection to Poitier: Ralph’s big Hollywood break was in his 1977 film, A Piece of the Action.
Oprah was also a big fan of the larger-than-life images of Poitier at the premiere. “This is a beautiful red carpet,” she said when walking in. (And Oprah would know—she’s appeared on quite a few carpets in her time.) See the full video on Oprah’s instagram or watch it below.
After admiring the setup, Oprah walked the carpet with Poitier’s daughters: Anika, Sydney, Beverly, Pamela, and Gina. “The thing he loved most about himself was that he was a father to his daughters,” Oprah said when introducing the film.
Colman Domingo also attended the carpet to support Poitier, a man he considered to be his role model. “When I saw him, I saw the artist that I could be,” he wrote on Instagram.
Before the L.A. premiere, Sidney first aired on the big screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. (It was Oprah’s first public appearance since the pandemic—read more about her glorious return to the red carpet here.) Poitier’s daughters were in attendance, and after the documentary ended, they received a standing ovation from the crowd. The Poitier family worked in tandem with the film—which includes never-before-seen interviews with Poitier’s closest admirers and collaborators, such as Harry Belafonte, Halle Berry, and Denzel Washington. (Read everything you need to know about the documentary here.)
“I just want everybody to feel the essence of who he was as a man, as a father, and not just as an actor,” Oprah said during the LA premiere. “I think you will when you see this film.”
Sidney premieres in theaters and on Apple TV+ September 23, 2022. Watch the trailer below, and learn more here.
Cassie Hurwitz (she/her) is Oprah Daily’s assistant editor, where she covers everything from culture to entertainment to lifestyle. She can typically be found in the middle of multiple books and TV shows all at once. Previously, Cassie worked at Parents, Rachael Ray In Season, and Reveal. Her love language is pizza (New York slices, Chicago deep dish, and otherwise).
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