Oscar-nominated actress Cicely Tyson was born in New York City. Tyson has starred in many groundbreaking television and films roles involving the Black experience in America, including Roots, Sounder, and A Woman Called Moses, in which she portrayed abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Her performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman won her two Emmy Awards in 1974 and she became the first Black woman to win an honorary Acdemy Award in 2018.
Most recently Tyson was seen in 2011’s The Help and in the Shonda Rhimes ABC drama, How to Get Away with Murder and in several Tyler Perry films including Madea’s Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
Her manager Larry Thompson confirmed to Variety on Thursday (January 28) that Tyson had passed away at the age of 96. There were no further details about the cause of death.
“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” 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.”