Award-winning Hollywood actress Cicely Tyson known for her onscreen portrayals of strong black women, has died at the age of 96.
Cicely Tyson’s death was announced by her family, via her manager Larry Thompson, who did not immediately provide additional details.
“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” according to a statement issued through Thompson.
Cicely Tyson began her screen career with bit parts but gained fame in the early 1970s when Black women were finally starting to get starring roles. Tyson refused to take parts simply for the paycheck, remaining choosey.
“I’m very selective as I’ve been my whole career about what I do. Unfortunately, I’m not the kind of person who works only for money. It has to have some real substance for me to do it,” she told The Associated Press in 2013.
She was due to leave her role as Miss Luma Lee Langston in the second season of OWN series Cherish the Day that premiered last February. She also had a recurring role as Ophelia Harkness in ABC legal drama How to Get Away with Murder since 2014, for which she received five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress.
Tyson recently starred in Tyler Perry’s 2020 Netflix thriller, A Fall from Grace, her final film role before her death.
Days before her passing, she released her new memoir, Just As I Am, which she promoted in an appearance on CBS This Morning with Gayle King earlier this week.
Her manager Larry Thompson said that she “thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life.”
“Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree,” he said in a statement Thursday.