Inside Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll’s steamy affair

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Sidney Poitier, 94, died Thursday, leaving behind Joanna Shimkus, his beloved wife of 45-years.

Before he could find everlasting love, the first black man who won an Academy Award for Best Actor was involved in a passionate, turbulent affair with Diahann Carroll that lasted much of the 1960s.

The movie musical, in which they were both cast, was the first time that the pair met. “Porgy & Bess.”

Poitier was already married to Juanita, his first wife. With her, he had four children. Carroll was 24 years old when he married Monte Kay, a music manager.

Despite their marital statuses the stars were immediately captivated and began a long affair.

The flame-hot romance continued long after Carroll gave birth in 1960 to Suzanne.

The brave couple starred together in a sequel film, titled “Paris Blues,”This was released in 1961.

Poitier and Carroll (left) are seen on the 1961 movie set “Paris Blues.”The couple had been secretly dating for two years. Getty Images

They were also photographed together at the Academy Awards in 1964, on the night Poitier — who was still married — scored the Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Lilies of the Field.”

In her 2008 memoir, she reveals everything. “The Legs Are the Last To Go,” Carroll claimed that, in 1963, Poitier promised he would leave his wife for her. He then convinced her that she should also get a divorce to allow them to be together openly.

Carroll kept her end, and she split with her husband. She was ready to move into the 10-room apartment on Riverside Drive, which Poitier had purchased.

The actress — who went on to star in the groundbreaking sitcom “Julia”She was the first black woman to win a Best Actress Award in a Musical Tony. “No Strings” — even wrote that Poitier gave her a glitzy ring, although she did not say it was a proposal.

He soon called her to tell her he was having second thoughts and that he wasn’t going to divorce his wife.

The pair are pictured with Paul Newman in 1961’s “Paris Blues.”FilmPublicityArchive/United Arch

“He changed the locks so I couldn’t get in [to the Riverside Drive apartment]. Then he made me write him a check to offset his purchase and decorating costs,”Carroll wrote her memoir. “I did as I was told, submissive and desperate.”

Poitier split with Juanita Hardy, his wife, in 1965. But the Hollywood heartthrob claimed to have told Carroll that he didn’t want to jump right into another marriage.

In 2005, Carroll and Poitier were pictured together. Their romance ended in mid-1960s but they rekindled their friendship many decades later. Getty Images

Poitier was not amused by the news and encouraged the beauty to start dating other men.

She wrote in her memoir: “Sidney called me at my hotel … ‘You bitch, whore, tramp,’He yelled. ‘I know he just left your bed. I won’t have you running about with other men. You belong to me!’ “

Despite their turbulent romance ending, the couple became close friends decades later.

The 2005 photo of the ex-lovers. Carroll claims they eventually forgave one another for the pain and heartbreak that their unhappy romance caused.WireImage

They were seen together at various public functions, with Carroll writing in her memoir. “Sidney and I are now friends. That’s a lovely thing that comes as you age — forgiveness and perhaps a relaxing of standards.”

In 2008, she also shared the following: “I’m a terrible romantic, just ridiculously so. It’s immature, my romanticism. It will not sustain a relationship. I know that now.”

Carroll died in 2019 at age 84.

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