The similar cognomen is not coincidental: actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier is indeed the daughter of legendary stage and screen icon Sidney Poitier. Born to the famous thespian and actress Joanna Shimkus in 1973 (the youngest of Sidney's six daughters), Sydney attended New York University beginning in 1991, then started to chalk up acting assignments in the late '90s, including the telemovie Free of Eden (opposite her dad), the Clint Eastwood thriller True Crime, and the miniseries Noah's Ark (all three in 1999). In time, Poitier also landed the lead (and title character) on the 2003 UPN sitcom Abby, co-starring Kadeem Hardison (A Different World), but that program folded soon after it bowed; the actress fared better with her role as Mallory Dent on the teen-oriented detective series Veronica Mars (2004).
Poitier achieved her breakthrough, however, with two roles: that of Jungle Julia, a young vixen hunted down and slain by psychopathic Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof segment of the exploitation tribute Grindhouse (2007), and FBI agent Carrie Rivai in Knight Rider (2008), director Steven Shill's made-for-television tribute to the iconic 1980s series of the same name. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi