Celebrities Pay Tribute as Cicely Tyson Passes on at 96

Cicely Tyson, the veteran Hollywood actress whose long acting career earned her an honorary Oscar, an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award and a Tony Award, has passed on at the ripe age of 96.

Cicely Tyson, the stage, screen and television actress whose vivid portrayals of strong African-American women shattered racial stereotypes in the dramatic arts of the 1970s, propelling her to stardom and fame as an exemplar for civil rights, died on Thursday.

Her passing has not been attributed to any cause of death.

The actress who had a career that spanned 7 decades, became the first black woman to take on a main role in the TV drama East Side/West Side in the 1960s.

Presenting Tyson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, the then US President Barack Obama said that apart from her achievements as a actress, she had also shaped the course of history.

Tyson with the Obama’s.

Several actors and actresses have continued to praise the deceased, most of whom have worked with her in different movies, notably Tyler Perry, Viola Davis and Oprah Winfrey.

“She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup. My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next,” he wrote on Instagram.

“To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy. She called me son. Well, today your son grieves your loss and will miss our long talks, your laughter from your belly, and your very presence. Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen. Every time we would talk I would ask, ‘How are you?’ and you would say, ‘I’m still here. He must have something he wants me to do.’ Well, I think it’s safe to say you have done all you were put here to do, and we are all better for it.”

On her part, Oprah said: “Cicely decided early on that her work as an actor would be more than a job,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram.

“She used her career to illuminate the humanity of Black people. The roles she played reflected her values; she never compromised. Her life so fully lived is a testimony to Greatness.”

“I’m devastated. My heart is just broken. I loved you so much!! You were everything to me!” Davis wrote alongside a sweet photo of the two hugging.

“You made me feel loved and seen and valued in a world where there is still a cloak of invisibility for us dark chocolate girls. You gave me permission to dream….because it was only in my dreams that I could see the possibilities in myself.”

The late Cicely Tyson married three times, all of which ended in divorce. She had a daughter when she was 17 years old.


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