Joanna Shimkus, who goes by Joanna Poitier after marriage, is the second wife of the late veteran actor Sidney Poitier. Shimkus married Poitier in 1976 and was with him until he took his last breath on January 6, 2022. She has two beautiful daughters, Anika and Sydney, with the late actor.
Like her late husband, Shimkus is also into acting. She started as a model when she was still a teen and made her way to the bigger screen.
The model-turned-actress acted in several movies in the 60s and 70s, including the Golden Globe-nominated The Virgin and the Gypsy.
However, she left the silver screen to take care of her girls for years and only did some acting gigs here and there in between.
Biography & Wiki Summary
|Joanna Marie Poitier
|Date of birth
|October 30, 1943
|80 years old
|Place of birth
|Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Beverly Hills, California, USA
Sydney Tamiia Poitier Heartsong
Pamela Poitier, Sherri Poitier, and
|Former model, Actress, and Producer
|19 Million USD
Joanna Shimkus’s Net Worth
The former model has a whopping 19 million USD as her net worth.
Shimkus was a successful model and an actress in the 60s and 70s.
She has earned recognition and fortune during her active years in the industry.
And her net worth might have increased as there are chances she has received an inheritance from her late husband.
Early Life, Daughters, and Family
Shimkus was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia but grew up in Montreal.
She was born to her Lithuanian-Jewish father, Joseph, and his Irish-Catholic wife, Marie.
The actress spent most of her childhood in Montreal and only left the country to pursue a modeling career in France.
While in France, she stayed in Paris and paved her way to acting.
Later, she moved to Hollywood and did many movies, including one with her late husband.
She later moved to the USA and settled in Beverly Hills, California, with her husband and two daughters.
Like her and her later husband, her daughters also are actresses.
Her eldest daughter, Anika, also started as an actress and was in projects like Myth America, The Devil Cats, etc.
After acting on a few more projects, she moved to the direction and worked on projects like The Choir.
The second daughter of Shimkus, Sydney, also joined Hollywood as an actress.
Sydney, a graduate of New York University and Stella Adler Studio of Acting, has worked in several TV shows such as Carter, Homecoming, Knight Rider, etc.
She also made it to the bigger screen and worked in movies like True crime, Clinical, The Mouseketeer, etc.
Shimkus is close to both of her daughters. She is also close to her stepdaughters from the first marriage of her late husband.
She even had a great relationship with her youngest stepdaughter, Gima, who died in 2018.
Shimkus has maintained a healthy bond with her extended family.
And though her husband is no more, she still has her children and grandchildren.
Joanna Shimkus’s Husband and Relationship
Shimkus was married to the late Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier.
The two met on the set of The Lost Man in 1969 but did not share if that was when they started dating.
Though Shimkus was already engaged to someone else when she met Poitier, she broke it off and dated him.
The couple married in 1976 but were already parents to two beautiful girls.
Their eldest was born in 1972, while their youngest was born a few years later.
The couple remained married till Poitier took his last breath.
However, it was not the first marriage of her husband, Poitier.
The first Bahamian and Black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor was previously married to model and dancer Juanita Hardy and had four daughters with her.
Poitier married Hardy after just a few years of making his acting career after making it past the audition at the American Negro Theater on a second try.
The first time he auditioned was just after moving from Florida to New York because he could not stand the racism there.
On his first try, he failed and joined the US Army in World War II by lying about his age.
In the army, he got stationed in New York to work with psychiatrist patients at the Administration Hospital for Veterans.
He did not like how people got treated in the hospital, so he staged mental illness and got discharged from the army under Section VII.
After his days in the army, he retired from the theater and started working as a dishwasher before getting his first lead role.
Though he still had a long way to go, he married his first wife, Hardy, in 1950.
But, during his first marriage, he was not faithful to his wife.
He started an affair with fellow actress Diahann Carroll during his ninth year of marriage.
The two kept seeing each other for nine years until Poitier started having doubts.
He clarified that he was not divorcing his wife, and the two parted ways with some bad blood, though they met later in life and became friends.
Because of his affair, Hardy divorced the former Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan and UNESCO in 1965.
Poitier then began dating Shimkus. The couple initially lived together and even had children, but it was only later that they became husband and wife.
Once when Shimkus took her daughters to a pediatrician, everyone thought she was their nanny.
So, she returned home and demanded Poitier marry her within a week.
The couple then married and even had their daughters as flower girls at their wedding.
Shimkus completed high school at one of the convent schools in Montreal, Canada.
However, there are no records of her pursuing higher education after high school.
So, she might have left the study after high school to focus on her modeling and acting career.
Career in Modeling and Acting
Shimkus started modeling when she was still a teenager.
Because of her beauty and charisma, she was a successful model in Canada and soon got a chance to fly to Paris, France, as a part of Elle Magazine.
She was just nineteen when she moved to Paris, but even there, she had a successful career as a model.
Soon, her modeling career aided her even in getting parts in movies.
She then started getting movie offers and began her career as an actress.
Her debut project was Montparnasse-Levallois which was shot in 1936 but released only in 1965.
So, instead of it, her other project, De l’amour, became her debut project.
She was natural even in the movies, and director Robert Enrico was among the many who recognized it. He then signed her in three projects.
She did many other French movies while in Paris and soon got offers even from the USA and moved here.
Even in the USA, she was a successful model-turned-actress who appeared in several movies.
Out of the several projects, people mostly remember her for her role in The Virgin and the Gypsy.
Shimkus had a great career as a model and actress but gave it up to take care of her daughters.
She left Hollywood after her first daughter was born in 1972 but took projects here and there over the years.