- Hollywood fable Cicely Tyson has died astatine property 96, according to aggregate outlets.
- Tyson's vocation successful theater, film, and tv spanned much than 70 years.
Famed Hollywood histrion Cicely Tyson has died astatine property 96, according to a connection from her manager.
"I person managed Miss Tyson's vocation for implicit 40 years, and each twelvemonth was a privilege and blessing," Tyson's manager Larry Thompson said successful a connection to Variety. "Cicely thought of her caller memoir arsenic a Christmas histrion decorated with each the ornaments of her idiosyncratic and nonrecreational life. Today she placed the past ornament, a Star, connected apical of the tree."
Tyson published a memoir, titled "Just arsenic I Am," astatine the opening of 2021. A uncommon acting icon with a vocation that spanned much than 70 years, Tyson volition beryllium remembered arsenic 1 of the Hollywood greats.
From modeling to a theatre vocation successful the 1950s and '60s
Cicely Tyson was calved successful New York City connected December 19, 1924. Her parents had immigrated to the United States from Nevis, 1 of the Leeward Islands successful the Caribbean. Tyson's mother, Theodosia, cleaned houses successful the Bronx portion her begetter worked arsenic a carpenter and painter.
"If you're raised successful poverty, you cognize what it is to privation a portion of bread," Tyson told The New York Times in a 1972 interview. "When I was 9 years old, I was selling buying bags connected the street. I cognize what it is to beryllium with out. My parents did each happening they could to marque things meet, but they were inactive connected welfare."
After graduating precocious school, Tyson archetypal worked arsenic a caput astatine a Red Cross bureau successful New York City. But 1 time she discontinue her occupation and decided to prosecute a modeling career.
But modeling was a short-lived gig for Tyson, too. Soon she decided it was clip to prosecute acting, and she bounced from a Harlem theatre accumulation to a 1961 Off-Broadway amusement titled "The Blacks." That accumulation costarred James Earl Jones ("Star Wars," "Coming to America," "The Lion King"), and Louis Gossett, Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman," "Watchmen") and more, and led to Tyson's archetypal acting award: the Vernon Rice Award successful 1962.
In some "The Blacks" and her consequent theatre gig, "Moon connected a Rainbow Shawl," Tyson played enactment workers. Though the roles were earning her awards, Tyson said nary to the adjacent portion she was offered that progressive prostitution due to the fact that she didn't privation to beryllium typecast.
Tyson's launched a prolific TV and movie vocation successful the '60s
In 1963, Tyson was formed arsenic a bid regular connected a TV amusement called "East Side, West Side," wherever she played a secretary. It was 1 of the archetypal times a Black histrion had landed a regular relation connected television.
Then came her relation successful the 1972 movie "Sounder," successful which Tyson played the matriarch successful a household of Black sharecroppers. In an interview with the New York Times, Tyson made it wide that she wanted to prioritize roles that showed the afloat lived experiences of Black Americans.
"Okay, truthful we person prostitutes and pimps and con men and pushers, the mode they amusement successful those movies, but we besides person mothers and fathers and doctors and lawyers and teachers and politicians," Tyson said. "A Black doc was liable for the archetypal unfastened bosom surgery, and a achromatic feline developed postulation lights, and small is known astir that."
"We person contributed a large woody to this country, but what's being projected is simply a precise antagonistic image, and not needfully a projec tion of the truth," she continued. "I stopped going to spot those blaxploitation films ... I conscionable couldn't basal them."
In that interview, The Times newsman mentions that Oscar buzz had begun for her relation successful "Sounder."
"It would beryllium nice," she says, smiling, "but I'm realistic. If happens, I'll beryllium precise surprised. Hattie McDaniel won for a supporting relation successful 'Gone With the Wind,' but she's the lone Black pistillate who's ever won."
Tyson was so nominated for her show arsenic Rebecca successful "Sounder." But that twelvemonth Liza Minellelli won champion histrion for "Cabaret," and Tyson had to hold until she was 94 years aged to person an honorary Oscar astatine the 2018 Academy Awards.
In 1974, Tyson landed the relation of the rubric quality successful "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," a TV bid based connected the caller by Ernest J. Gains. She won 2 Emmy Awards for her performance, and was conscionable getting started.
Tyson's presumption arsenic Hollywood fable grew arsenic her vocation continued with 1977's 'Roots,' and yet modern TV dramas similar 'How to Get Away with Murder'
Tyson had a supporting relation arsenic Binta successful the groundbreaking 1977 tv miniseries "Roots." The bid was nominated for 37 full Emmys and won nine. "Roots" was besides awarded a Peabody grant and inactive holds a grounds for one of the most-watched bid finale successful TV history.
Tyson herself won different Emmy for her show successful the TV movie "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All," which premiered successful 1994. Her movie credits included "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991) and "The Help" (2011).
But the 2010s, Tyson inactive had a prolific acting career. She appeared successful Netflix's archetypal large play series, "House of Cards," arsenic good arsenic the Shonda Rhimes-created ABC amusement "How to Get Away With Murder," a impermanent relation for which she was Emmy-nominated 5 much times.
In 2015, Tyson became a Kennedy Center honoree. The adjacent year, erstwhile President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "In her agelong and bonzer career, Cicely Tyson has not lone succeeded arsenic an actor, she has shaped the people of history," Obama said astatine the ceremony.
Tyson published her memoir conscionable days earlier her death
Tyson's memoir, "Just arsenic I Am," was published connected January 26, 2021, conscionable 2 days earlier she died. In the book, Tyson discussed her matrimony to jazz fable Miles Davis. She spoke with the revelations astir that narration and its tumults, in a January interrogation with The New York Times.
"I got to cognize the psyche of a antheral who is arsenic gentle arsenic a lamb," Tyson said. "He covered it up with this ruthless cognition due to the fact that helium was truthful shy. Shy, you perceive me? And successful trying to beryllium the benignant of pugnacious idiosyncratic that radical thought helium was, helium ruined his life."
Tyson was besides asked, fixed her property and the memoir's publication, whetherdeath
was thing that frightened her.
"I'm not frightened of death," Tyson said. "I don't cognize what it is. How could I beryllium acrophobic of thing I don't cognize thing about?"
"I instrumentality it a time astatine a clip [...] and I'm grateful for each time that God gives me," Tyson continued.
Tyson's memoir is disposable online and successful bookstores now.