You might confuse Sydney Tamiia Poitier with the award-winning actor Sidney Poitier, who holds the distinction of being the first African American to win the Oscar Best Actor award, in 1963 for Lilies in the Field. The two, in fact, are very much related: she is the daughter of the older Poitier and former actress Joanna Shimkus. She was born on November 15, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, and graduated at the New York University.
The award-winning actress made her debut in 1998, with a role in the independent release Park Day. This was followed by two other films, True Crime and MacArthur Park, and two television movies, Free of Eden and Noah’s Ark, before she made her television series debut, in an episode of the drama First Years. In 2003, Poitier got her first starring role, in the UPN sitcom Abby; here she played title character Abby Walker, who dumps, but agrees to remain roommates with, her boyfriend (Kadeem Hardison). The series was axed after nine episodes. Poitier also had recurring roles in Joan of Arcadia and Veronica Mars, where she played a journalism teacher.
After being voted by People magazine as one of their 50 Most Beautiful People of 2001, Poitier joined the ensemble cast of the film Nine Lives, a film consisting of nine short vignettes with nine different women. She played a supporting role to the critically-acclaimed 2005 film; it eventually won a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast, an honor she shared with her co-stars Holly Hunter, Glenn Close and Sissy Spacek, among others. She then guest starred in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Her more recent films include Hood of Horror, The List, and Grindhouse, as part of Quentin Tarantino’s segment to the film, Death Proof. She also starred in the backdoor pilot to the series Knight Rider.