Sydney Tamiia Poitier (born November 15, 1973) is a Bahamian-American television and film actress.
Born in Los Angeles, Poitier is the daughter of Bahamian actor Sir Sidney Poitier and Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus. Her mother is of Lithuanian Jewish and Irish descent. She has an older sister, Anika. She also has four older half-sisters, Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, and Gina, from her father’s first marriage. Poitier’s great-uncle has claimed that the Poitier ancestors on her grandfather’s side had migrated from Haiti and were probably part of the runaway slaves who had established maroon communities throughout the Bahamas, including Cat Island. He mentions that the surname Poitier is a French name, and there were no white Poitiers from the Bahamas.
Poitier attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she earned a bachelor’s degree in acting. She also studied at Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Poitier began her career of acting in the late 1990s. In 2001, she landed her first role on television in the NBC drama series First Years. The series was canceled after three episodes. In 2003, she starred in the UPN sitcom Abby. That series was also canceled during its first season. Later that same year, she had a recurring role in Joan of Arcadia, where she played Rebecca Askew, the love interest of Joan’s older brother, Kevin (Jason Ritter). She was also a regular on the first season of Veronica Mars. However, she left the show after only appearing in four episodes because of budget cuts.
In 2007, Poitier starred in Death Proof, director Quentin Tarantino’s segment of the movie Grindhouse, as radio DJ Jungle Julia. The next year, she had a co-starring role in the new Knight Rider series, as FBI Agent Carrie Rivai. In 2011, she guest-starred on two episodes of Private Practice.
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