Hollywood Icon Cicely Tyson Dead At 96

Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.
Cicely Tyson, boundary-breaking and award-winning actress, died on Thursday 28th January 2021. The beloved film star was 96 years old, and her cause of death has not yet been revealed by her management or her family.
Born in 1920s Harlem, a young Tyson dreamed of becoming a star. After years of turning heads as a model for EBONY, she got her big break by starring in the Harry Belafonte film Odds Against Tomorrow. In her rich 65-year career, Tyson was recognised as a powerhouse actress with the ability to move audiences to tears through her emotional portrayals. She garnered major awards and honours throughout her life; Tyson was awarded an Academy Honorary Award (the first and only Black actress to receive one), a Career Achievement Peabody, a spot in the Television Hall of Fame, a soundstage at Tyler Perry's sprawling Atlanta studio, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to her by former President Barack Obama.
A darker-skinned Black woman proudly sporting her natural hair on camera, Tyson's television and film roles in projects like Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (for which she won her first Emmy Award), Roots, and so many others undoubtedly paved the way for generations of Black actresses in years to come. Actresses like Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) and Kimberly Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Woman) considered her a mentor and their inspiration for entering show business, and their peers still hold her as the gold standard of acting.
The news of Tyson's passing comes just days after the release of her highly-anticipated memoir, Just As I Am. It took years to for the Hollywood starlet to compile all of her stories simply because she lived for so long and had experienced so much. During the press run for the memoir, Tyson talked happily about her legacy in Hollywood and in Black culture at large, expressing pure joy in the fact that her work had been so impactful on so many people's lives.
"I'm amazed every single day I live," she told Gayle King during a recent appearance on CBS This Morning. "What my life became is not what I expected. I had no idea that I would touch anybody...I've done my best. That's all."

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