Cicely Tyson, an iconic Hollywood actress who specialised in portraying strong African-American characters in movies, has passed away at the age of 96.
Tyson’s demise was confirmed in a statement on Thursday by Larry Thompson, her manager, who did not immediately provide additional details on the cause of her death.
“With heavy heart, the family of miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” the statement read.
The multiple award-winner died a few days after ‘Just As I Am’, a memoir wherein she wrote about her over a 70-year career that earned her three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, was published on Tuesday.
Born on December 19, 1924, in New York, the late actress started performing, playing piano and reciting in her family’s church when she was a child.
Tyson broke into the limelight for her roles in ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’, a 1959 Harry Belafonte film, followed by ‘The Comedians,’ ‘The Last Angry Man,’ ‘A Man Called Adam’ and ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.’
She thereafter earned a plethora of accolades and recognitions for her performance in ‘Sounder’, a 1972 movie, in which she played a Louisiana sharecropper’s wife.
In a career spanning more than seven decades, she became known for her portrayal of strong African-American women.
She has starred in several other movies including ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman’ (1974), ‘Roots’ (1977), ‘The Marva Collins Story’ (1981), ‘The Women of Brewster Place’ (1989), and ‘The Help’ (2011).
Tyson tied the knot with Miles Davis, a jazz trumpeter, in 1981, but their union ended in divorce in 1988.
Prominent persons, fans, colleagues, and family members have since taken to their social media to pay their tributes to the late icon.