Hollywood icon, Emmy and Tony award-winning actress Cicely Tyson has passed away on Thursday afternoon. She was 96 years old.
“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” Tyson’s manager, Larry Thompson, said to Variety 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.”
Tyson’s career spanned theater, film and television, and she would turn down roles that would portray Black women as drug addicts, prostitures or maids.
In her television career she won Emmys for her role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and was the first Black woman to have a recurring role in a drama series, when she appeared in East Side/West Side. In addition, Tyson appeared in Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, The Woman of Brewstwer Place and How to GEt AWay With Murder.
Tyson would receive an honorary Oscar award in 2018 The Last Angry MAn, A Man Called Adam, Sounder, Odds Against Tomorrow, Hoodlum, Fried Green Tomatoes and made her debut in 1957’s Twelve Angry Men.
On Broadway, Tyson appeared in The Gin Game with James Earl Jones in 2015, one of many stage appearances.
Cicely Tyson was survived by her niece.