Sad to hear of the death of the great actress Cicely Tyson

    Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Cicely Tyson, who distinguished herself in theater, film and television, died on Thursday afternoon. She was 96.

    “I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” her manager, Larry Thompson, said in a statement. “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.”

    Her memoir “Just As I Am” was published on Tuesday.

    She was recently featured in the NYT

    It’s no stretch to say that Cicely Tyson widened the scope of American popular culture. Her groundbreaking portrayals of complex, dignified Black women in feature films like ‘‘Sounder’’ (1972) and the 1974 television film ‘‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’’ showed aspects of the American experience that had rarely, if ever, been represented onscreen before. The gravitas and artistry that Tyson brought to those projects has been a constant throughout her long career, up through the actress’s Tony Award-winning turn in ‘‘The Trip to Bountiful’’ (2013) and ABC’s just-concluded legal drama series ‘‘How to Get Away With Murder,’’ for which she earned five Emmy nominations. Now, with her memoir, ‘‘Just as I Am,’’ which will be published on Jan. 26, Tyson, who is 96, has moved from telling her characters’ stories to telling her own. ‘‘I’m always searching for myself,’’ she says. ‘‘There’s so many facets to a human being. I surprise myself all the time.’’


    Rest in Power


    The first performance I remember was on a CBS show "East Side/West Side" 

    The episode was "Who Do You Kill" 

    George C Scott, Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones, and Diana Sands

    Powerful performances and message 

    Link to the episode on YouTube

    Interesting Village Voice review, more about George C Scott than Tyson, buy nostalgia value all the same.

    Thanks for providing the downer review of the role. Tyson took pride in her roles.

    In a remarkable career of seven decades, Ms. Tyson broke ground for serious Black actors by refusing to take parts that demeaned Black people. She urged Black colleagues to do the same, and often went without work. She was critical of films and television programs that cast Black characters as criminal, servile or immoral, and insisted that African-Americans, even if poor or downtrodden, should be portrayed with dignity.


    For many Americans, Ms. Tyson was an idol of the Black Is Beautiful movement, regal in an African turban and caftan, her face gracing the covers of Ebony, Essence and Jet magazines. She was a vegetarian, a teetotaler, a runner, a meditator and, from 1981 to 1989, the wife of the jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis. Since the ’60s she had inspired Black American women to embrace their own standards of beauty — including helping to popularize the Afro.

    Edit to add:

    This is a celebratory post.

    You take time to search out an obscure Village Voice review mostly about George C Scott

    The review takes a swipe at Cicely Tyson and the material 

    You drop the turd here and tell us that it is "interesting"

    Hagiography aside, nobody gets that much choice first role, and just by being on it was a success:

    She became the first African American to star in a television drama when she starred in the series East Side/West Side (1963–1964).[12] She also had a role in the soap opera The Guiding Light.[13]

    But sure, everything she did was fab and outstanding, and there were no down moments. Unlike for George C. Scott.

    PS - there were no other pro reviews on the series, only VV.

    You should have made those statements in your initial post.

    What you presented was simply a bad review

    If your intent was to say that she was a great actress and person, those words were freely available.

    Edit to add:

    Looking forward to reading the memoir

    No, it wasn't a bad review - it said they gave her nothing to chew on, meaning the part/dialog/whatever was uninspired, not her acting. And they cancelled the series after 4 months, mostly for being too dire for early 60s.

    But I figured you and maybe everyone else read the Wikipedia write-up on her -what am I missing?



    Wanda Sykes:

    Phylicia Rashad:


    The NYTimes formal obit:

    Cicely Tyson, an Actress Who Shattered Stereotypes, Dies at 96

    In a remarkable career of many decades, she refused to take parts that demeaned Black people and won a Tony, Emmys and an honorary Oscar.

    58m ago By ROBERT D. MCFADDEN



    a few more I ran across


    Michelle Obama:

    Senator Warnock:

    Mia Farrow:



    Cicely Tyson on her memoir 

    "Just As I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.” –Cicely Tyson



    Gayle King interviewed Cicely Tyson just this week

    “When the time comes, what do you want us to remember about you?” CBS This Morning host Gayle King asked Cicely Tyson this week to promote her long-awaited autobiographyJust As I Am

    “I done my best. That’s all,” Tyson responded, softly.



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