Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson has died at 96.
Her manager Larry Thompson confirmed the sad news in a statement to Access Hollywood on Thursday, sharing, “With heavy hearts, the family of Ms Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time please allow the family their privacy.”
The statement continued, “I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing. 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,” he added.
The pioneering actress first gained fame in the 1970s when Black women were beginning to get starring roles in Hollywood.
She gained an Oscar nomination for her role as a sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and won two Emmys for playing a former slave in the 1974 TV drama, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.”
Tyson also appeared in the 2011 hit movie “The Help” and was awards with an honorary Oscar in 2019.
President Barack Obama honored the late actress in 2016 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He said at the time, “Cicely’s convictions and grace have helped for us to see the dignity of every single beautiful memory of the American family.”
Tyson’s memoir, “Just As I Am” was just released this week and already received praise from Oprah Winfrey.
The media mogul tweeted on Wednesday, “Cicely Tyson’s iconic beauty may have gotten her noticed at a young age, but it’s her talent that made her the living legend she is. And she’s finally telling her story. I read her memoir #JustAsIAm and now fully understand why she is such a treasure. What a life!”
.@IAmCicelyTyson's iconic beauty may have gotten her noticed at a young age, but it’s her talent that made her the living legend she is. And she’s finally telling her story. I read her memoir #JustAsIAm and now fully understand why she is such a treasure. What a life! pic.twitter.com/MZrCIbXFNP
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 27, 2021
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