A true icon and legend.
Words can’t express how iconic Cicely Tyson was after living a beautiful life that shifted the culture, inspired generations, and left a golden legacy that will shine in the pantheon of Black Hollywood pioneers for decades to come.
Just two days ago, the beloved legend went live on “CBS This Morning” recapping her personal life and expansive career as detailed in her memoir “Just As I Am.”
The legendary actress told Gayle King about being born to West Indian parents in the 1920s, getting pregnant at 17, and being briefly married to the father of her child for two years. Cicely went on to pursue an acting career as a single mom and her mother was far from pleased with that choice. With that, her mom kicked her out of the house.
“She told me I couldn’t live there and do that, suddenly I found something that I loved to do and I had a child to support,” said Cicely. “My mother, I don’t know what she wanted me to be, she thought I was going to live in the den of iniquity because we grew up in the slums. Lots of prostitutes walking up and down the street and that’s all she knew about movies.”
Despite her mother’s concerns, Cicely went on to have a transcendent 70-year career that included her formal debut in the 1959 Sidney Poitier film “Odds Against Tomorrow,” “The Comedians,” and, of course, 1972’s “Sounder” which landed her an Oscar nomination.
Other notable credits included roles in the classic gangster epic “Hoodlum,” “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (which earned her two Emmy awards), “East Side/West Side,” “The Wilma Rudolph Story,” “King: The Martin Luther King Story,” “When No One Would Listen,” “A Woman Called Moses,” “The Marva Collins Story,” “The Women of Brewster Place,” and incomparable classic “Roots.”
In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama and later became the first Black woman to be awarded an honorary Oscar for years of excellence that inspired countless tributes from all who loved her below: