Film Legend, Cicely Tyson dead at 96

TV,stage and movie Legend, Cicely Tyson have passed on. She was 96 years old. 

Her family announced her death via her manager, larry Thompson;

“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,”

Cicely Tyson

Tyson made her movie debut in the late 1950s with small roles in such films as “Odds Against Tomorrow,” “The Last Angry Man,” and “The Comedians.” She played the romantic interest to Sammy Davis Jr.’s jazz musician in “A Man Called Adam.”

She gained wider notice with a recurring role in the 1963 drama series “East Side, West Side,” which starred George C. Scott as a social worker. Tyson played his secretary, making her the first Black woman to have a continuing role in a dramatic television series.

She played a role in the 1968 drama “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” that was hailed by a reviewer as “an absolute embodiment of the slogan ‘Black is beautiful.’” In “Roots,” the 1977 miniseries that became one of the biggest events in TV history, she played Binta, mother of the protagonist, Kunta Kinte, played by LeVar Burton.

She also appeared on Broadway in the 1960s in “The Cool World,” “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright” and other plays. Off-Broadway, she appeared with such future stars as Maya Angelou, Godfrey Cambridge and James Earl Jones in a 1961 production of French playwright Jean Genet’s “The Blacks.”

Cicely Tyson

She won a Drama Desk award in 1962 for a role in the off-Broadway “Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.”


After her “Sounder” and “Miss Jane Pittman” successes, Tyson continued to seek TV roles that had messages, and she succeeded with “Roots” and “King” (about Martin Luther King) and “The Rosa Parks Story.” – AP News credits.

Cicely Tyson

The last show i watched her in was “How to get away with murder ” as Annalise Keaton (played by Viola Davis) mother. She was so graceful and full of wisdom. 

I hope to live as long as she did and have a purposeful life as I’m sure she did.  Rest on Dame Cicely.

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