Cicely Tyson , Hollywood Icon dies at 96

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Cicely Tyson , Hollywood Icon dies at 96

Cicely Tyson , Hollywood Icon dies at 96  

Cicely Tyson, a Hollywood icon and award-winning actress who distinguished herself in theater, film, and television is dead.

 

She died on Thursday afternoon, January 28, according to a statement from her manager, Larry Thompson.

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“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” Thompson said in a statement.

 

For over 40 years, I have managed Miss Tyson’s career, and it has been a pleasure and a blessing every year. As a Christmas tree adorned with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life, Cicely thought of her latest memoir. She placed the last ornament, the Star, on top of the tree today.

 

The statement failed to report the cause of death.

 

In her first memoir, ‘Just As I Am,’ which was just published on Tuesday, two days before her death, the actress chronicled her long career.

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“In 1957’s “Twelve Angry Men,” Tyson made her film debut with a small role and her official debut in the 1959 Sidney Poitier movie “Odds Against Tomorrow,” followed by “The Comedians,” “The Last Angry Man,” “A Man Named Adam,” and “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

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She appeared in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman in 1974, a television movie based on an Ernest Gaines novel. The main character, a woman born into slavery who survives long into the 20th century and takes part in the struggles for civil rights of African Americans, was Tyson.

 

For the part, she won two Emmys, best actress in a drama and actress of the year. She received a total of three Emmy Awards out of 15 nominations during her career.

 

Tyson declined to play drug dealers, prostitutes or maids during her career, roles she found disrespectful to black women. She played former slaves, icons of civil rights, sharecroppers, truth-tellers, mothers, giving every character a sense of complexity, nobility, and grace.

 

Her filmography includes some of the most popular films and TV shows featuring Black women in major roles: “Sounder” (1972), “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974), “Roots” (1977), “The Marva Collins Story” (1981), “The Women of Brewster Place” (1989), and “The Help” (2011).

 

Tyson became the first African-American woman to win an honorary Oscar in November 2018. She was later inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame and was selected in 2020 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Television Academy.

 

In 1981, Tyson married Miles Davis, the jazz trumpeter, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1988.

 

In 2013, in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, she reflected on her one and only marriage, describing her relationship with the jazz legend as “tumultuous” but one that also included “some of the most incredible moments in my life.”

 

The death of the iconic actress attracted an outpouring of tributes from the stars of Hollywood and far beyond.


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