Sidney Poitier Honored by To Sir, with Love Costar Lulu: 'My Friend, My Teacher, My Inspiration'

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Sidney Poitier Honored by To Sir, with Love Costar Lulu: 'My Friend, My Teacher, My Inspiration'
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Lulu Kennedy-Cairns paid homage to the late Sidney Poitier, who was her costar in the 1967 British drama film To Sir, with Love.

Lulu, who made her film debut in the drama and sang its iconic title song, posted a photo of herself and Poitier during a scene from the film on her Instagram page on Friday.

"Sidney you were my friend, my teacher, my inspiration….," she wrote in the caption before quoting, ""Sir rises above the fray and leads by example"…this was how you lived your life. You empowered and educated us do we could choose to follow your lead!"

She added, "RIP dear man.😔♥️😌."

To Sir, with Love followed Poitier's Mark Thackeray, who, despite having no experience, finds himself teaching a group of inner-city high school students from London's East End.

RELATED: Sidney Poitier, First Black Man to Win Best Actor Oscar and a Titan of Cinema, Dead at 94

The movie also starred Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson and Suzy Kendall.

The film's title song, "To Sir with Love," reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. at the time of the movie's release.

Poitier died on Thursday evening at the age of 94, PEOPLE confirmed.

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With a staggering list of accolades, including an Academy Award as the first Black man to win, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a knighthood, Poitier leaves behind an indelible legacy that extends far beyond his commanding screen presence.

Shortly after news of Poitier's death broke on Friday, tributes began to pour in online, with fans of the actor sharing kind words on social media including former President Barack Obama.

Sidney Poitier With Singer Lulu
Sidney Poitier With Singer Lulu

Clive Limpkin/ANL/Shutterstock Sidney Poitier with singer Lulu

"Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together," Obama tweeted. "He also opened doors for a generation of actors."

"Michelle and I send our love to his family and legion of fans," he added. Michelle retweeted her husband's post.

Oprah Winfrey called him a "mentor," "friend" and "brother" in her moving remembrance.

RELATED: Denzel Washington Wishes He Had Made a Film with Sidney Poitier: 'I Missed That Opportunity'

Whoopi Goldberg shared, "If you wanted the sky i would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high.. To Sir… with Love Sir Sidney Poitier R.I.P. He showed us how to reach for the stars," adding, "My condolences to his family and to all of us as well."

Poitier, who was also known for his activism work on human rights issues, made history in 1964 as the first Black man to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field. He went on to win another honorary Academy Award in 2002.

He leaves behind his wife Joanna Shimkus as well as five daughters: Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, Anika and Sydney. His daughter Gina Poitier died in 2018.