Cicely Tyson


Cicely Tyson (born December 19, 1933) is an American Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress. A successful stage actress, Tyson is also known for appearances in the film Sounder and the television specials The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Roots.

Tyson was discovered by a photographer for Ebony magazine, and became a popular fashion model. Her first film was an uncredited role in Carib Gold in 1957, but she went on to do television – the celebrated series East Side/West Side and the long-running soap opera The Guiding Light. In 1961, Tyson appeared in the original cast of French playwright Jean Genet’s The Blacks, the longest running Off-Broadway non-musical of the decade, running for 1,408 performances. The original cast also featured James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Browne, Louis Gossett, Jr., Godfrey Cambridge, Maya Angelou and Charles Gordone. Sammy Davis Jr. in the film, A Man Called Adam (1966), and also starred in the film version of Graham Greene’s The Comedians (1967), and had a featured role in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968).

In 1972, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the critically acclaimed Sounder. In 1974 she won two Emmy Awards for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Other acclaimed television roles included Roots, King, in which she portrayed Coretta Scott King, The Marva Collins Story, When No One Would Listen and Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All for which she received her third Emmy Award. In her 1994-1995 television series Sweet Justice, Tyson portrayed a feisty, unorthodox Southern attorney named Carrie Grace Battle, a character she shaped by consulting with and shadowing the legendary Washington, DC civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Dovey Johnson Roundtree. In 2005, Tyson co-starred in the movies Because of Winn-Dixie and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The same year she was honored by Oprah Winfrey at her Legends Ball.


A Woman Called Moses (1978)-DVD
Starring: Cicely Tyson, Orson Welles Director: Paul Wendkos

The Marva Collins Story (1981)-DVD

Sounder (1972)-DVD
Starring: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield

Mama Flora’s Family (1998)-DVD
Starring: Cicely Tyson, Erika Alexander Director: Peter Werner

The River Niger (1976)-DVD

Neighbors (Broadway Theatre Archive) (1971)-DVD

Brown Sugar: Over 100 Years of America’s Black Female Superstars by Donald Bogle

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