Joanna Shimkus

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

Joanna Shimkus
Born (1943-10-30) 30 October 1943 (age 77)
(m. 1976)
Children2, including Sydney Tamiia Poitier

Early lifeEdit

Shimkus was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to a Lithuanian-Jewish father[3] and a Catholic 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. 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 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 lifeEdit

She married 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 readingEdit

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


  1. ^ Sandra Brennan (2008). "Joanna Shimkus". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 March 2008.
  2. ^ Guy Flatley, Philadelphia (10 November 1968). "Sidney Poitier as Black Militant". The New York Times. p. D15.
  3. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search".
  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". Los Angeles Times.

External linksEdit