Lead actor Cicely Tyson dies at 96

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Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson died Thursday afternoon at the age of 96.

“I’ve been managing Mrs. Tyson’s career for over 40 years and each year has been a privilege and a blessing,” Thompson said on Thursday. “He thought of his new memories as a Christmas tree adorned with all the decorations of his personal and professional life. He placed the Star, which is his last ornament today, on the tree. “

Larry Thompson

Tyson’s memoir, “That’s Me” was released Tuesday. When journalist Gayle King interviewed the actress about her memories and asked how she wanted her fans to remember her, Tyson said, “I did the best I could. That’s all.”

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Tyson first appeared in Twelve Angry Men in 1957, but is best known for his roles in The Odds Against Tomorrow, The Comedy, The Last Angry Man, A Man Called Man, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and Fried Green Tomatoes. More recently, Tyson acted in the movies The Help and A Fall from Grace.

Tyson has also been praised for his work in various TV shows and TV movies such as Miss Jane Pittman, Roots, The Wilma Rudolph Story, King: The Martin Luther King Story, When No One Don’t Listen, A Woman Called Moses, The Marva Collins Story. Brewster Place Women, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Travel to Abundance.

Tyson refused to star in the exploit movies and TV shows that were popular in the 1970s, but also denied roles depicting Black women as sex workers, maids or drug addicts. Tyson received an Oscar nomination for Martin Ritt’s TV series Sounder in 1973 and won an Honorary Oscar in 2018.

Tyson’s fellow cast members took to social media to share their memories and admiration for the iconic actor.

Oprah Winfrey tweeted, “Cicely decided early on that working as an actor would be more than just a job. He used his career to enlighten the humanity of Blacks. The roles he plays reflect his values; never made concessions. He lived a life so full that it is the testimony of greatness. 

Director Ava DuVernay tweeted, “I’ll remember your hugs. How your petite arms hugged me like mighty branches of a strong and warm sunny tree. I will remember your love. You loved me for a reason and you told me often. Thank you, Your Majesty. May it keep you on the journey ahead. Until we meet again. “

Former US President Barack Obama tweeted, “In his extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson was one of the few award-winning actors who left behind what he accomplished on the big screen. He had a heart like no other, and for 96 years he has left a mark that few people on Earth will encounter. “

“Cicely Tyson opened doors, broke ceilings, and drew roads,” the comedian and actress Wanda Sykes tweeted. “We will be forever grateful.”