The Hollywood legend and pioneering Black actress, Cicely Tyson, has passed away at the age of 96. Tyson had gotten an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder”, won a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88, and won the hearts of TV viewers’ in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman”.
Cicely Tyson’s demise was announced on Thursday. “With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” said a statement issued through manager Larry Thompson. No cause for her death was given.
“I’m not the kind of person who works only for money.”- Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson began her screen career with bit parts but gained fame in the early 1970s when Black women were finally starting to get starring roles. Tyson was known for shattering stereotypes of Black Women and refused to take up ‘stereotypical’ roles simply for the pay-check.
“I’m very selective as I’ve been my whole career about what I do. Unfortunately, I’m not the kind of person who works only for money. It has to have some real substance for me to do it,” she told The Associated Press in 2013.
Tyson was outspoken on civil rights and her experiences in the entertainment industry, frequently appearing on magazine covers, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Besides her Oscar nomination, she won two Emmys for playing the 110-year-old former slave in the 1974 television drama “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman”. Last year, she was seen on the small-screen thriller “How to Get Away with Murder”.
In 2018, she was given an honorary Oscar statuette at the annual Governors Awards. “I come from lowly status. I grew up in an area that was called the slums at the time,” Tyson said at the time. “I still cannot imagine that I have met with presidents, kings, queens. How did I get here? I marvel at it.”
Late Cicely Tyson’s last tweet about Amanda Gorman resurfaces
Amanda Gorman, a 22-year old American poet, and activist became an overnight star when she presented her poem at Joe Biden’s inaugural function on 20th January. She has been the youngest poet in U.S history to recite a poem at a President’s inauguration. Gorman was also the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. The internet naturally loved her performance and raved about her. One of these people was Cicely Tyson.
Cicely Tyson, before her death, made sure to appreciate poet Amanda Gorman’s presentation at Joe Biden’s inaugural function. Tyson’s last tweet was an appreciation for Gorman.
“@TheAmandaGorman, your words remind us that we will rise, rebuild, reconcile and recover. Thank you for your words and light.” CT
— Cicely Tyson (@IAmCicelyTyson) January 27, 2021
Tyson’s death was announced by her family, via her manager Larry Thompson, who did not immediately provide additional details.