Sidney Poitier's Relatives Gather for Family Portrait at 90th Birthday Party

THR Sidney Poitier_9959_01_0086 - THR - H 2017
Joe Pugliese

The film icon, who "knows how to make a room explode," turned 90 on Feb. 20 and invited THR to his private bash at Beverly Hills' Spago, where four generations of his family posed for an epic photo.

It turns out that Sidney Poitier — the Oscar-winning actor and cultural symbol synonymous with dignity and rectitude — not only has a great sense of humor, but also a flair for colorful language. "He's one of the most eloquent curse-word users," says godson Mike Jordan admiringly on the afternoon Poitier and his extended family — his wife, his ex-wife, 27 of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and godchildren and a few close friends — gathered for his 90th birthday at his favorite Beverly Hills eatery, Spago. Adds grandson Etienne Gouraige, "He knows how to make a room explode."

Born on a tomato farm in the Bahamas, Poitier ended up in New York by way of Miami and in 1964 became the first black winner of the best actor Oscar (for Lilies of the Field). He supported the dreams of other family members to pursue careers in the arts; after a trip with Poitier to Walt Disney Animation Studios, Gouraige made the decision to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design (along with his sister Gabrielle). Says Joanna, Poitier's wife of more than 40 years, "He is the most wonderful, generous, kind, honest man with the most integrity that I've ever known in my life."

1. Etienne Gouraige, 21; Sidney Poitier's grandson, student

2. Gina Poitier-Gouraige, 55; daughter, administrative assistant

3. Leandro DiMonriva, 39; son-in-law, writer-producer

4. Guylaine Gouraige, 22; granddaughter, student

5. Gabrielle Gouraige, 18; granddaughter, student

6. Jacinta Howard Jordan; wife of Mike Jordan, editor

7. Mike Jordan; godson, editor-writer

8. Julia Burnside; cousin, retired

9. Sherrie Burgess Brooks, chief of staff to Sidney Poitier

10. Pamela Poitier, 62; daughter, actor/teacher

11. Dorian Heartsong; son-in-law, musician

12. Sydney Ayele LaBarrie, 11, great-granddaughter

13. Aisha LaBarrie, 40; granddaughter, owner of LaBarrie Littles, a kids' clothing embroidery company

14. Beverly Poitier-Henderson; daughter, designer of Poitier Henderson Jewelry

15. Sherri Poitier; daughter, chef

16. Constance Jordan Wilson, Ph.D.; goddaughter, retired

17. Alison Brooks; friend, fashion stylist

18. Jennifer Brice; friend, United Airlines international service manager

19. Juanita Marie Hardy Poitier, 86; first wife

20. Vanesta L. Poitier, 64; niece, therapist

21. Anika Poitier; daughter, filmmaker

22. On Anika's lap: March, grandson

23. Kai LaBarrie, 9; great-granddaughter

24. Joanna Poitier, 73; wife, interior designer

25. On Joanna's lap: Paloma, granddaughter

26. On Joanna's lap: Diarra LaBarrie, 6; great-granddaughter

27. Sidney Poitier

28. Sydney Poitier-Heartsong, 33; daughter, actor

29. On Sydney's lap: Sunny Plum, granddaughter

30. Sienna Sky Jordan, Mike Jordan's daughter

This story first appeared in the March 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.