Joanna Shimkus

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Joanna Shimkus
Born (1943-10-30) 30 October 1943 (age 75)
Children2, including Sydney Tamiia Poitier

Joanna Shimkus, Lady Poitier (born 30 October 1943) is a former Canadian actress. She is the wife of Bahamian-American actor and diplomat Sir Sidney Poitier, and mother of actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Shimkus was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to a Lithuanian-Jewish father[3] and a mother of Irish descent.[4] Her father worked for the Royal Canadian Navy.[5] She attended a convent school[6] and was brought up in Montreal, Quebec. She went to Paris at age nineteen, where she worked as a fashion model and soon attracted the attention of movie people on the lookout for new talent.


She made her debut in 1964, in Jean Aurel's film De l'amour. She was then noticed by film director Robert Enrico, who selected her to appear in three of his films; Les aventuriers (1967), opposite Alain Delon and Lino Ventura, Tante Zita (1968) and Ho! (1968).

She also appeared in Joseph Losey's film Boom! (1968), opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and The Lost Man (1969), opposite Sidney Poitier. Her film career continued until the early 1970s, including roles in L'Invitée (1969), The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971) and A Time for Loving (1972).

Personal life[edit]

She married Sir Sidney Poitier in 1976, and they have two daughters: Anika and Sydney Tamiia, who is also an actress. Shimkus has three grandchildren; two from Anika and one from Sydney Tamiia.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema, Lloyd Fuller Desser, Portland House, New York, 1987. ISBN 0-517-64419-3


  1. ^ "Joanna Shimkus". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Sidney Poitier as Black Militant By GUY FLATLEYPHILADELPHIA.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 10 Nov 1968: D15.
  3. ^,3915039
  4. ^ "She's From Halifax". The Calgary Herald. 4 September 1970.
  5. ^ Joyce Haber (6 July 1969). "Joanna Shimkus Happy To Get By On Personality". Toledo Blade.
  6. ^ Joyce Haber (18 May 1969). "Joanna Shimkus: Filmdom's Beautiful Ugly Duckling". The Los Angeles Times.

External links[edit]