Sidney Poitier Banned Diahann Carroll’s Kid from Moving in with Them a Day before Her Arrival

Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll had remarkable careers, but both stars are best remembered for their whirlwind romance that saw them go back and forth with endless love.

Hollywood has witnessed the rise and fall of many stars who took the world by storm with their talent, but it has also seen the end of several celebrity relationships that held many promises but failed to live up to the hype.

Of the many celebrity romances, only a few can come close to the intense passion between Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll, two great black stars whose careers paved the way for others.

Former lovers, Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll in a photo. [Left] | Actress Diahann Carroll in a photo carrying her daughter, Suzanne. [Right] | Photo: Getty Images

Both actors were remarkably brilliant in their craft and were held in high esteem by their colleagues, but behind the scenes, they were almost helpless in a love that caused them more pain than gain.

Poitier was the first black male to win an Oscar for Best Actor, and Carroll was the first black woman to appear in a non-servant role on television. She died in 2019 following a long battle with cancer, but Poitier, 94, is still alive to tell the tales of their tumultuous relationship.

Sidney Poitier at the 36th Academy Awards ceremony, April 13, 1964. | Photo: Getty Images


Carroll and Poitier met while filming “Porgy and Bess” in 1959, where he played Porgy, and she played Clara. The actor told People in 1980 that they had only been on set for a few days when he realized how special she was and helplessly he had fallen.

According to Poitier, Carroll was physically beautiful with excellent cheekbones, magnetic eyes, and perfect teeth. He was also smitten by her seductive and confident demeanor, which he described as tantalizing.

Both married at the time but were willing to push for their romance. Carroll was married to her first husband, Monty Kay, the father of her only daughter, Suzanne, and Poitier to his first wife, model Juanita Hardy, with whom he shares four children.

Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll at the 36th Academy Awards on April 13, 1964 in Santa Monica, California. | Photo: Getty Images

The actor often had great things to say about Hardy. He once described her as generous, open-hearted, and smart, yet his heart longed for his co-star, Carroll, whom he dated for nine years.

Poitier invited Carroll out to dinner, but because they were both committed, he assured her they would talk about their respective loved ones instead. They did, but as the days progressed, they both began to fall in love with each other.

Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier during a scene from the movie “Paris Blues,” in 1961. | Photo: Getty Images

Each meeting with the great actress, according to the actor, left him in awe of her, and he became increasingly captivated by her beauty and brilliance.

On the other hand, Carroll would admit many years later that she was a romantic at heart, and some of the choices she made were rooted in her immaturity.

Carroll married three more times after a nine-year episode with Poitier.

Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier a the Fifth Annual Women in Film Lucy Awards on September 12, 1998 in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Soon their relationship progressed into something more than a mere acquaintance, and it became a full-fledged romance. They promised to leave their respective spouses to be able to live their romance out in the open.

Even though Carroll fulfilled her part of the deal, Poitier continued making empty promises. After Carroll abandoned her marriage and filed for divorce, Poitier refused to leave his wife and family and instead chose to remain married.

In frustration, Carroll began seeing other men, as she recalled in her memoir book, “The Legs Are the Last to Go.”

Actor Sidney Poitier attends the Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation’s 6th Annual Christmas Gala and Fundraiser at Montage Beverly Hills on December 19, 2015. | Photo: Getty Images

Carroll wrote of a night Poitier stormed her hotel room and accused her of seeing another man despite being married himself. He was enraged that she was moving on with other people and wanted her all to himself.

Both stars were confused about what they wanted. They knew they longed to be together, but deep within, it looked utterly impossible. It was more of a love that was cursed never to be.

Sidney Poitier speaks onstage during the 2016 Carousel Of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 8, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

Later on, Poitier gifted Carroll an engagement ring as a sign of his new commitment to their romance. He promised he would end things once and for all with his wife, and they would get wedded immediately.

Although she had heard those empty words before, Carroll could not help but believe them. As she told her mom that Poitier had finally proposed, the older woman was filled with disbelief.

Sidney Poitier photographed while filming “In the Heat of the Night” in 1967. | Photo: Getty Images

Things looked like they were right this time around, and finally, both stars were set to begin their lives together, but things never went as planned with the duo.

They got an apartment to live together and decided to stay a few months before getting married. Poitier did not want to seem like he jumped from one marriage to another.

A few days after she moved in with the actor, he called to share a piece of bad news with her. Poitier told Carroll that his wife had changed her mind about getting a divorce, so they had to hold their plans for their wedding, but that was not all his excuse.

Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier at the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards on March 19, 2005. | Photo: Getty Images

He later called to inform her that her only daughter, Suzanne, would not be living with them, which was against the plans they had made before.

Carroll had already prepared a room for her daughter, but she realized Poitier was up with his usual tricks and only wanted a way out of his commitment.

The actor knew Carroll would do anything but be separated from her daughter, so he devised the perfect way to sneak out of their engagement. He also changed the locks of the house and informed Carroll that she could only live in the apartment if she paid him off.

Diahann Carroll at the Women In Film’s 2013 Crystal + Lucy Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 12, 2013. | Photo: Getty Images

It was at this point that Carroll began to break free from their long-time romance. Although Poitier got a divorce, he and Carroll never worked out as the actress had grown independent of his love.

Despite their history, both stars remained friends until her death in 2019. At her death, Poitier reportedly described her as talented and beautiful. The actor went on to marry Joanna Shimkus in 1976. They share two beautiful daughters and are still together to this date.

Sidney Poitier attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 2, 2014. | Photo: Getty Images

Carroll married three more times after a nine-year episode with Poitier. At some point in their lives, Fred Glusman, Robert DeLeon, and Vic Damone were all referred to as “Diahann Carroll’s spouse.”

Carroll was engaged to David Frost, a British TV broadcaster and producer, in 1970, and after dating him for two years, her fans were stunned in 1973 when she married Glusman, a boutique owner.

Diahann Carroll at the “2016 ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood.” | Photo: Getty Images

Carroll later accused Glusman of domestic assault, and the marriage ended after only four months. She then went on to marry DeLeon, the editor of Jet magazine, two years after their split, but the union ended with DeLeon’s death in a vehicle accident in 1977.

Carroll’s fourth and final marriage was to Vic Damone, a singer. The union was a tumultuous one. After a reconciliation while they dated, they married in 1987, and eventually divorced in 1996. Although marriage never favored her, Carroll’s career surely made up for where she lacked.

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