Tyler Perry is reeling after the passing of a true icon and a true friend.
The mega-mogul penned a heartfelt tribute to the “grandmother he never had” Cicely Tyson who passed away Thursday at age 96. The TP Studios head who worked with Cicely several times on projects including Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, and made her the Godmother of his son Aman, detailed the moment he heard the news.
Tyler said he coincidentally felt called to watch the late legend’s TV film “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” before Oprah let him know that his friend passed away.
“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,” Perry wrote on Instagram. “Not 12 minutes into the movie my phone rang. It was Oprah calling to tell me that Cicely had died.”
This one brought me to my knees! She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup.”
He added that while he’s sad that the acting titan with over 90 credits to her name is no longer here, he’s also proud to celebrate her life and the memories they shared.
“My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next,” he wrote. “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,” Perry added. “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 Twitter, Tyler also shared an incredibly touching video of Cicely celebrating her birthday at Tyler Perry studios alongside Phylicia Rashad and walking hand-in-hand with him at his studio’s 2019 Grand Opening Gala.
As previously reported he dedicated one of his 12 soundstages to the actress.
R.I.P. Cicely Tyson.