Cicely Tyson, an iconic Hollywood actress who specialised in portraying strong African-American characters in movies, has passed away at the age of 96.
Tyson’s demise was confirmed in a statement on Thursday by Larry Thompson, her manager, who did not immediately provide additional details on the cause of her death.
“With heavy heart, the family of miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” the statement read.
The multiple award-winner died a few days after ‘Just As I Am’, a memoir wherein she wrote about her over a 70-year career that earned her three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, was published on Tuesday.
Born on December 19, 1924, in New York, the late actress started performing, playing piano and reciting in her family’s church when she was a child.
Tyson broke into the limelight for her roles in ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’, a 1959 Harry Belafonte film, followed by ‘The Comedians,’ ‘The Last Angry Man,’ ‘A Man Called Adam’ and ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.’
She thereafter earned a plethora of accolades and recognitions for her performance in ‘Sounder’, a 1972 movie, in which she played a Louisiana sharecropper’s wife.
In a career spanning more than seven decades, she became known for her portrayal of strong African-American women.
She has starred in several other movies including ‘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 tied the knot with Miles Davis, a jazz trumpeter, in 1981, but their union ended in divorce in 1988.
Prominent persons, fans, colleagues, and family members have since taken to their social media to pay their tributes to the late icon.
What struck me every time I spent time with Cicely Tyson was not necessarily her star power—though that was evident enough—it was her humanity. Just by walking into a room, she had this way of elevating everyone around her. pic.twitter.com/o6VAV63wqd
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 29, 2021
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/JRsL3zlKtPAdvertisement
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 29, 2021
I'm devastated. My heart is just broken. I loved you so much!! You were everything to me! You made me feel loved and seen and valued in a world where there is still a cloak of invisibility for us dark chocolate girls. You gave me permission to dream… https://t.co/7V7AFZtFLa pic.twitter.com/l2TLfM4weX
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2021Advertisement
This one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power. pic.twitter.com/vwchWT5512
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) January 29, 2021
A true legend!! Rest in power Cicely Tyson 🙏🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/YvzBEjPNUO
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 29, 2021
She was an extraordinary person. And this is an extraordinary loss. She had so much to teach. And I still have so much to learn. I am grateful for every moment. Her power and grace will be with us forever. #cicelytyson https://t.co/RNYkGiooPD pic.twitter.com/b4wMKK1FVj
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2021
Honoring the life of the legendary Ms. Cicely Tyson, a queen who graced the world with her beauty, strength and talent. Grateful for her legacy and for the chance to read her unvarnished truth. Rest In Power❤️ pic.twitter.com/To5i88D7ZF
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 29, 2021
I have only one word that can describe Ms. #CicelyTyson … LEGEND❣️Rest in love Cicely. We are going to miss you💐✨
📸: Alan Silfen pic.twitter.com/0k4cnHTUTt
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 29, 2021
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) January 29, 2021
Hillary and I mourn the passing of Cicely Tyson. She brought complex characters to life with dignity and heart, and humanity and depth, always remaining true to herself. Our thoughts and prayers to all who were inspired and empowered by her performances and extraordinary life.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) January 29, 2021
Though saddened by legendary actress Cicely Tyson’s exit from the stage of life at 96, we find immense solace in the fact that her life enriched hours in ways we will never forget. Heartfelt condolences to loved ones. #RIPCicelyTyson pic.twitter.com/qtLIldv9ly
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) January 29, 2021
Pausing tonight to hail the great Cicely Tyson, who passed today. At some point in my young life my school ran ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’ & her astonishing performance was the very first time I remember realizing that great acting was a magic trick & a craft. RIP ❤️
— Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton) January 29, 2021
RIP: Cicely Tyson
The legendary Tony and Emmy award winning actress has died at 96.
With a career that spans over 7 decades and over 100 stage and film roles, Tyson was the oldest person to win a Tony in 2013. A true trailblazer for black arts.#KgopoloReports #RIPCicelyTyson pic.twitter.com/BuvWk5o3HS
— Kgopolo Mphela (@PhilMphela) January 29, 2021
— Katherine McNamara (@Kat_McNamara) January 29, 2021
I am saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Cicely Tyson. She starred in one of my son’s films –– The Road to Galveston.
Her talent was phenomenal & a hallmark of Black entertainment & culture. She opened doors for the many who followed her. She will be deeply missed. pic.twitter.com/HY3jitgJ6A
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 29, 2021
So saddened by the loss of Cicely Tyson….A gentle soul, immensely talented and so thoroughly dignified. She brought so much life to the characters she played, and their voices…her voice…will always be with us.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) January 29, 2021
Giving thanks for the LIFE, WORK and SPIRIT of QUEEN MOTHER CICELY TYSON. A treasure, a gift, a trailblazer, an icon…a BLESSING!
Thank you Queen! Eternally grateful for you.
— Larenz Tate (@LarenzTate) January 29, 2021
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