Wolfgang Puck's Instagram Tribute To Sidney Poitier Is So Moving

Wolfgang Puck paid tribute to his dear friend, Sir Sidney Poitier, who died in his California home on January 6th at age 94 (via New York Times). Posting a throwback image of himself, the renowned actor, and his wife Gelila, the celebrity chef shared, "A big hole in the world today as we say goodbye to one of the greatest men who ever lived, Sir Sidney Poitier, and the godfather of our two boys Oliver and Alexander. I met Sidney fifty years ago while I was living in France, where he was honeymooning with Joanna Poitier" (via Instagram).

This lasting friendship was evident. When Oprah threw a 2006 "dinner of a lifetime" to honor Poitier, it was at Puck's restaurant Spago (via Oprah.com). Said Puck at the time, "I have known Sidney Poitier for many years. He is a good friend of mine. He is even the godfather of my son, Oliver. We cook for him three times a week at the restaurant, many times at his home, too. We know really what he loves."

Poitier's love of Spago has been well-documented. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow recently recounted his experience with Poitier at the restaurant, which occurred back in 2014. In Blow's account, the famed actor not only knew the server but had a favorite dessert that the restaurant went to extra effort to provide. His charm reportedly illuminated the room, attracting the eyes of those around him, and the food must have been delicious for Puck's friend.

Poitier and Puck's friendship spanned decades

The love and admiration Wolfgang Puck felt for Sidney Poitier clearly did not fade, and he made sure to honor the impact the actor had on culture and cinema. As Puck wrote in his Instagram tribute, "Since the day we met, we became good friends. He led his life filled with integrity and opened many doors for African American actors." Raised in the Bahamas, he returned to his birthplace of Miami, where he faced the horrors of segregation, and then made his way to New York, where his acting career began (via New York Times). Poitier is widely acknowledged as a legend who blazed a trail for Black actors during the civil rights movement. 

Puck's moving post continued, "For the world he was an icon, a great actor, but for his beloved wife Joanna, he was a great husband and a great father to his children and to our boys. A great example! ... He will live in our heart forever. May he Rest In Peace."