Sydney Tamiia Poitier

14th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards with Presenting Sponsor Lacoste - Arrivals

Poitier in 2012, photo by Prphotos

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: November 15, 1973

*father – African-Bahamian
*maternal grandfather – Lithuanian
*maternal grandmother – French-Canadian, small amounts of Scottish, Irish, English, and First Nations [including Mi’kmaq]

Sydney Tamiia Poitier is an American actress. Her roles include the films Grindhouse/Death Proof, as radio DJ Jungle Julia, and Nine Lives, and the shows Homecoming and Carter. She has also been credited as Sydney Poitier Heartsong, her married name.

Sydney is the daughter of actors Sir Sidney Poitier, who was Bahamian and American, and Joanna Shimkus, who is Canadian. Her father was of African-Bahamian ancestry. Her paternal grandparents owned a farm on Cat Island, and sold produce in Miami. Her father was born there during one such visit. Sydney’s mother is of Lithuanian descent on one side, and of French-Canadian, and small amounts of Scottish, Irish, English, and First Nations, including Mi’kmaq, descent on the other.

Sydney is married to Dorian Heartsong, with whom she has a daughter.

Sydney’s paternal grandfather was Reginald James Poitier (the son of March Poitier and Emma Jane “Emily” Evans). Reginald was born on Cat Island. March was the son of David Poitier and Margaret Ambrose. Emma was the daughter of Charles Evans and Jane.

Sydney’s paternal grandmother was Evelyn Outten (the daughter of Timothy Outten/Outen and Virginia Farrington/Farington). Timothy was born on Rum Cay, Bahamas.

Sydney’s maternal grandfather was Joseph Shimkus (the son of John Shimkus and Anna Arman). Joseph was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada, to Lithuanian parents. John was born in Wydukli, the son of Kazimieras Anthony Szymkies/Shimkus, who was from Silale, Taurage, and of Pranciska Peldunaile. Sydney’s grandfather Joseph was sometimes reported to be Jewish. This does not appear to have been accurate.

Sydney’s maternal grandmother was Marie Teresa Petrie (the daughter of Adelard Joseph Petrie/Pitre and Margaret/Marguerite Marie Roy). Sydney’s grandmother Marie was born in Gloucester, New Brunswick, Canada, of mostly French-Canadian descent; along with small amounts of Scottish, Irish, English, and First Nations, including Mi’kmaq, ancestry. Adelard was the son of Joseph Stephen Pitre and Hélène H. Doucet. Margaret was the daughter of Jean Baptiste Eloi Roy and Marguerite Boudreau.

Sources: Genealogy of Sydney Tamiia Poitier (focusing on her father’s side) –

Marriage record of Sydney’s paternal grandparents, Reginald James Poitier and Evelyn Outten –

Death records of Sydney’s paternal grandparents, Reginald James Poitier and Evelyn (Outten) Poitier –

Sydney’s paternal grandfather, Reginald James Poitier, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Birth record of Sydney’s paternal grandmother, Evelyn (Outten) Poitier –

Genealogy of Sydney’s mother (focusing on her own mother’s side) –

Genealogies of Sydney’s maternal grandparents, Joseph Shimkus and Marie Teresa Petrie –

Obituary of Sydney’s maternal grandmother, Marie Teresa (Petrie) Shimkus Banyan –


Curious about ethnicity

9 Responses

  1. xoxo says:

    She doesn’t look a thing like her dad.

  2. WTF says:

    She is actually gorgeous, but in this picture she looks awkward and strange. Please put up a better picture.

  3. thomas1987 says:

    she looks like elaine from seinfeld

  4. andrew says:

    Not to be confused with Sidney Poitier, her dad. Her mother is also of Irish descent according to wikipedia

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