Cicely Tyson was a beautiful, charming lady who built a successful career by carefully choosing roles that exemplified quality and depth. She won accolades and awards for her performances on TV, stage and in film, with credits including Sounder, Roots, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, and The Help. Tyson won three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, among other honors, over the course of her acting career. She was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.
Tyson was born in New York City on December 19, 1924, and grew up in Harlem, New York. At the age of 18, she walked away from a typing job and began modeling. Tyson was then drawn to acting, though she had not been permitted to go to plays or movies as a child. When she got her first acting job, her religious mother, feeling that Tyson was choosing a sinful path, kicked her out of their home.
Tyson received numerous acting awards and nominations and became a member of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977. She was also been honored by the Congress of Racial Equality and by the National Council of Negro Women. And in 2010, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People presented Tyson with its 95th Spingarn Medal — an award given to African Americans who have reached outstanding levels of achievement.
Tyson passed away on January 28, 2021. “I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” her manager, Larry Thompson, said in a statement. “Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree.” biography.com