Cicely Tyson, an award-winning iconic star of theater, film, and television died on Thursday aged 96, News of Tyson’s death was confirmed by her longtime manager Larry Thompson.
Cicely Tyson passed away just two days after the release of her first memoir, “Just As I Am,” in which the actress chronicled her lengthy career.
Her decades-long career some of the most celebrated film and television shows featuring Black women in major roles: “Sounder” (1972), “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974), “Roots” (1977), “The Marva Collins Story” (1981), “The Women of Brewster Place” (1989), and “The Help” (2011).
In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom.
On her sad demise, many of her fans and celebrities took to social media to pay their tributes and last respects to the iconic Cicely Tyson.
Former US president Barak Obama on his official Twitter handle posted a throwback photo featuring Cicely and his wife Michelle Obama and said, “n her extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson was one of the rare award-winning actors whose work on the screen was surpassed only by what she was able to accomplish off of it. She had a heart unlike any other—and for 96 years, she left a mark on the world that few will ever match.”
In her extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson was one of the rare award-winning actors whose work on the screen was surpassed only by what she was able to accomplish off of it. She had a heart unlike any other—and for 96 years, she left a mark on the world that few will ever match. pic.twitter.com/JRsL3zlKtP— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 29, 2021
Michelle Obama also shared a tribute for Cicely Tyson in a series of tweets.
What struck me every time I spent time with Cicely Tyson was not necessarily her star power—though that was evident enough—it was her humanity. Just by walking into a room, she had this way of elevating everyone around her. pic.twitter.com/o6VAV63wqd— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 29, 2021
I’ll miss her dearly, but I smile knowing how many people she inspired, just like me, to walk a little taller, speak a little more freely, and live a little bit more like God intended.— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 29, 2021
She will be remembered as a strong Black actress caught up in life’s struggles during a 60-year career that earned her three Emmys and a Tony Award.
Tyson’s 1972 film “Sounder” in which she played a Louisiana sharecropper’s wife, earned her only Academy Award nomination. But she received an honorary Oscar in November 2018.
Uncountable tributes pour in on social media for the Black actress who shattered all stereotypes.
Early in her career, Cicely Tyson promised herself that she would only portray strong women. Harriet Tubman. Coretta Scott King. Miss Jane Pittman, and so many others. An Honorary Oscar winner in 2019 for her extraordinary body of work, she led by example and will be missed. pic.twitter.com/OLW8LGUhml— The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 29, 2021
I'm devastated. My heart is just broken. I loved you so much!! You were everything to me! 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… https://t.co/7V7AFZtFLa pic.twitter.com/l2TLfM4weX— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2021
I was sitting at the table working when I got this overwhelming feeling to watch Miss Jane Pittman. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. I didn’t even understand the feeling to turn it on, but I did anyway. Not 12 minutes into the movie my phone rang… cont: https://t.co/Cnwrw6chXg pic.twitter.com/KwogNifCV8— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 29, 2021
This one cuts deep. @IAmCicelyTyson was my first screen Mom.. Elegance, warmth, beauty, wisdom, style and abundant grace. She was as regal as they come. An artist of the highest order, I will love her forever… ♥️ RIP pic.twitter.com/69Awj7qI8o— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) January 29, 2021
RIP #CicelyTyson. When I was 13, I had studied the history of slavery and racism in junior high school, but it was "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" on TV that really open my eyes. Thank you, especially, for that revelatory work of art.— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 29, 2021
The King Center joins the world in remembering the life and legacy of #CicelyTyson. Trailblazer is not a sufficient description. What a legendary artist, sage and matriarch. We salute her. Rest in power, Lady Cicely. pic.twitter.com/aLAc8HgrCR— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) January 29, 2021
We remember the great actress Cicely Tyson today. She performed a reading of African American and Nigerian poems at the State Dinner for Nigerian President Shehu Shagari, 10/7/80. Dance Theater of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell is at right. Photo, NAID 847603 #RIPCicelyTyson pic.twitter.com/sb5sFNiGZQ— Jimmy Carter Presidential Library (@CarterLibrary) January 29, 2021
"Whatever good I have accomplished as an actress I believe came in direct proportion to my efforts to portray Black women who have made positive contributions to my heritage." #CicelyTyson #JustAsIAm pic.twitter.com/o2n4vFlpaI— Well-Read Black Girl Festival ™ (@wellreadblkgirl) January 29, 2021
She was an extraordinary person. And this is an extraordinary loss. She had so much to teach. And I still have so much to learn. I am grateful for every moment. Her power and grace will be with us forever. #cicelytyson https://t.co/RNYkGiooPD pic.twitter.com/b4wMKK1FVj— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2021