Actress Cicely Tyson, age 93 has been announced as one of Oscars 3 honorees. This will make her the first black woman to receive an honorary Oscar.
The award was given to her on Sunday, Nov 18.
Receiving her honorary statuette, Tyson also addressed the audience, which included actors such as Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Regina King and even Oprah Winfrey. The actress invoked the memory of her late mother, Frederica.
“Mom, I know you didn’t want me to do this,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter, referring to her mother, “but I did and here it is. For the longest time, I wanted to hear something positive from her. When I did [the Emmy-winning TV movie] Jane Pittman…she said, ‘I am so proud of you.’ If I had not heard those words from her, none of this would make a difference to me.”
Tyler Perry, Quincy Jones and Ava DuVernay presented Tyson with the award, with DuVernay noting that Tyson was “the seed for so many of us, the rose that we adore.”
“Her work, grace, dignity, class, humility and profound professionalism firmly placed her on the pedestal of Hollywood royalty,” Jones added, “and now, at long last, I could not be more honored to say that tonight, Cicely Tyson receives her more than well-deserved Oscar.”
“Her work, grace, dignity, class, humility and profound professionalism firmly placed her on the pedestal of Hollywood royalty, and now, at long last, I could not be more honored to say that tonight, Cicely Tyson receives her more than well-deserved Oscar.” –@QuincyDJones
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) November 19, 2018
The Hollywood actress is already the recipient of a Tony and two Emmys. The actress, whose career started in modelling and theatre, has also been awarded a presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.
She was previously nominated for an Oscar in 1973 for her role in Sounder, a film about a poor black family in the American South during the Depression era.
Still currently acting at 93, Ms Tyson has acted alongside Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder as Annalise’s mother and the series’ lead was among those expressing joy at the announcement.
John Bailey, the president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said: “Choosing the honorees for its awards each year is the happiest of all the Board of Governors’ work. And this year, its selection of five iconic artists was made with universal acclaim by the Academy’s 54 spirited governors.”
The Honorary Award is given “to honour extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy”.
Celebrity friends and fans have shared their delight at the news after the announcement.
Congratulations @IAmCicelyTyson, forever immortalized at the TCL @ChineseTheatres forecourt. You so deserve it. What a life and journey. We all love you! And thank you @tcm! pic.twitter.com/Nc2WhTu8Yu
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) April 27, 2018
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 6, 2018
Cicely Tyson still knows how to make an entrance. https://t.co/dgv7Utlhpy
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) April 28, 2018
My mom’s birthday is Friday, April 27. She was so much more than #MLK’s wife & widow. Global leader, peace advocate, human rights activist, founder of @TheKingCenter (2 months after my father was assassinated). Will you join me in #CelebratingCoretta this week? #CorettaScottKing pic.twitter.com/5CQy0z4NXI
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 23, 2018
We say a huge congratulations!