Oscar-nominated actress and television pioneer Cicely Tyson died Thursday. She was 96 years old. His death was announced by longtime manager Larry Thompson.
Tyson’s work alongside George C. Scott on CBS’s “East Side / West Side” drama made her one of, if not the first African-American actress to continue to star in a television series.
She was also the first African American to win an Emmy for Leading Actress when she played a woman aged 23 to 110 in the 1974 CBS TV movie “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman”. Tyson also won an Emmy Supporting Actress for the 1994 CBS miniseries “The Oldest Confederate Widow Tells Everything”.
The actress told the New York Times in 2013 that she had used her career “as a platform to address the issues of the race I was born into” because she “couldn’t afford the luxury of being. just an actress ”. She was known to take on meaningful roles as opposed to glamorous ones, always willing and willing to take risks, and says she saw that negative experiences are better teachers than positive ones.
His work was extensive and ranged from an Oscar nomination for Martin Ritt’s “Sounder” to reprise his Tony-winning role in Lifetime’s “The Trip to Bountiful”, to a key role in CBS’s mega-event series. “Roots”. She has also directed other films: “The heart is a lonely hunter”, “The comedians”, “A man called Adam”
More recent roles have ranged from several Tyler Perry movies to “The Help”, “Last Flag Flying” by Richard Linklater and “House of Cards” by Netflix. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, in 2016. She has also participated in numerous community and charitable activities.