Iconic American actress Cicely Tyson, who broke down barriers for Black women in Hollywood, has died at the age of 96.
Cicely’s family announced her death on Thursday in a family statement via her manager Larry Thompson.
“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” 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.”
"When the time comes, what do you want us to remember about you?" — @GayleKing
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 29, 2021
Cicely Tyson specialized in portraying strong Black women caught up in life’s struggles during a 60-year career that earned her three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.
She featured in movies and TV shows like the 1972 film ‘Sounder‘, ‘How To Get Away With Murder‘, ‘Madea’s Family Reunion‘, ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman‘, ‘A Fall from Grace‘, to mention a few.
Her vivid portrayals of strong African-American women shattered racial stereotypes in the dramatic arts of the 1970s, propelling her to stardom and fame as an exemplar for civil rights.
Tributes have poured in for Cicely from Hollywood and all walks of life since the announcement of her transition to the other side, with former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry leading the way.
In her extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson was one of the rare award-winning actors whose work on the screen was surpassed only by what she was able to accomplish off of it. She had a heart unlike any other—and for 96 years, she left a mark on the world that few will ever match. pic.twitter.com/JRsL3zlKtP
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 29, 2021
.@IAmCicelyTyson's iconic beauty may have gotten her noticed at a young age, but it’s her talent that made her the living legend she is. And she’s finally telling her story. I read her memoir #JustAsIAm and now fully understand why she is such a treasure. What a life! pic.twitter.com/MZrCIbXFNP
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 27, 2021
I was sitting at the table working when I got this overwhelming feeling to watch Miss Jane Pittman. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. I didn’t even understand the feeling to turn it on, but I did anyway. Not 12 minutes into the movie my phone rang… cont: https://t.co/Cnwrw6chXg pic.twitter.com/KwogNifCV8
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 29, 2021
Born in Harlem, New York on December 19, 1924, Cicely released her new memoir, ‘Just As I Am’, days before passing on. She promoted the memoir in an appearance on ‘CBS This Morning’ earlier this week.
Photo Credit: Instagram