Sydney Tamiia Poitier

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Sydney Tamiia Poitier
Sydney Tamiia Poitier.jpg
At the premiere of Grindhouse in Austin, Texas on March 2007
Born (1973-11-15) November 15, 1973 (age 44)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Sydney Tamiia Poitier
Sydney Poitier
Sydney Poitier Heartsong
Alma mater Tisch School of the Arts (B.A.)
Stella Adler Studio of Acting
Occupation Actress
Years active 1998–present
Dorian Heartsong (m. 2012)
Children 1
Parent(s) Sir Sidney Poitier
Joanna Shimkus (Joanna, Lady Poitier)

Sydney Tamiia Poitier (born November 15, 1973) is a Bahamian-American television and film actress.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, Poitier is the daughter of Bahamian actor Sir Sidney Poitier and Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus.[1] Her mother is of Lithuanian Jewish[2] and Irish descent.[3] She has an older sister, Anika. She also has four older half-sisters, Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, and Gina, from her father's first marriage.[4] Poitier's great-uncle has claimed that the Poitier ancestors on her grandfather's side had migrated from Haiti[5] 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.[6]

Poitier attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she earned a bachelor's degree in acting.[1] She also studied at Stella Adler Studio of Acting.[7][8]


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.[9] 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.[10] In 2011, she guest-starred on two episodes of Private Practice.



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Park Day Sophia Johnson
1999 True Crime Jane March
2001 MacArthur Park Linda
2001 Happy Birthday Hannah
2004 The Devil Cats Hellena Handbasket
2005 Nine Lives Vanessa
2006 Hood of Horror Wanda
2007 Death Proof Jungle Julia
2007 The List Cecile
2008 Blues Dee
2010 Yard Sale Kate Butler Short
2010 Page 36 Miss Gray Short
2011 Big Tweet Big Tweet's Girl Short
2012 The Shooting Star Salesman Zoey Short
2013 The Mouseketeer Dina Gerger Video short
2014 Flawed Jana Conley Short
2015 Too Late Veronica
2015 Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn Tami (voice)
2017 Clinical Clara


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Free of Eden Nicole Turner TV film
1999 Noah's Ark Ruth TV miniseries
2001 First Years Riley Kessler Main role
2003 The Twilight Zone Dr. Leslie Coburn "The Placebo Effect"
2003 Abby Abigail 'Abby' Walker Main role
2003–04 Joan of Arcadia Rebecca Askew Recurring role (season 1)
2004 Veronica Mars Mallory Dent "Credit Where Credit's Due", "You Think You Know Somebody", "Return of the Kane", "The Girl Next Door"
2006 Grey's Anatomy Deborah Fleiss "17 Seconds"
2008–09 Knight Rider Carrie Rivai Main role
2011 Supah Ninjas Katherine / Katara "Katara"
2011 Private Practice Michelle "Love and Lies", "Step One"
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Grace Tilwell "I Ka Wa Mamua"
2012 Kendra Leslie Web series
2014 Chicago P.D. Det. Mia Sumners Recurring role (season 1)
2018 Homecoming Lydia "1.1"
2018 Carter Det. Sam Shaw Main role


  1. ^ a b McCann, Bob (2010). Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland. p. 268. ISBN 0-786-43790-1. 
  2. ^ Personalities - Shimkus An Anti-Actress, St. Petersburg Times, 20 Jul 1971 at
  3. ^ "The Naked Truth Is: Joanna Isn't". The Calgary Herald. Women's News Service. September 4, 1970. p. 15. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Nipson, Herbert (May 1988). "Sidney Poitier Is Back". Ebony. 43 (7): 40. ISSN 0012-9011. 
  5. ^ "Bio - Sidney Poitier". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Sidney Poitier And Daughter Sydney Maniia Star In TV Movie About Leaving The Projects And Wanting A Better Life In 'Free of Eden'". Jet. 95 (12): 64. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  8. ^ "Sydney Tamiia Poitier Tackles Racy Sports World and Rocky Love Life As Star Of New TV Show 'Abby'". Jet. 103 (5): 60. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  9. ^ "Poitier on a mission to UPN's 'Mars'". Chicago Tribune. August 2, 2004. p. 46. 
  10. ^ Warn, Sarah (2008-02-18). "Sydney Tamiia Poitier Plays Queer in the 'Knight Rider' TV Movie". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 

External links[edit]