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Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and, with her stunning looks, she quickly rose to the... See full bio »

"The IMDb Show" Tackles a New Class of Holiday Classics

"The IMDb Show" unwraps some of the most festive animated holiday specials from the past and weighs in on future winter classics.

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Congratulations to Golden Globe Nominee "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

The Prime Original series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" picked up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series (Musical or Comedy). Check out photos from the show and browse our Golden Globes Guide for the full list of nominees.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

The Help
The Help Constantine Jefferson
Fried Green Tomatoes
Sounder Rebecca Morgan


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (91 credits)
 2015-2017 How to Get Away with Murder (TV Series)
Ophelia Harkness
- I'm Going Away (2017) ... Ophelia Harkness
- Go Cry Somewhere Else (2017) ... Ophelia Harkness
- Anna Mae (2016) ... Ophelia Harkness
- There's My Baby (2016) ... Ophelia Harkness
- Mama's Here Now (2015) ... Ophelia Harkness
 2017 Last Flag Flying
Mrs. Hightower
 2016 Showing Roots
 2016 House of Cards (TV Series)
Doris Jones
- Chapter 42 (2016) ... Doris Jones
- Chapter 41 (2016) ... Doris Jones
- Chapter 40 (2016) ... Doris Jones
 2014 The Trip to Bountiful (TV Movie)
Mrs. Watts
 2012 Alex Cross
Nana Mama
 2011 The Help
Constantine Jefferson
 2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
Ondine Burdett
- Hell (2009) ... Ondine Burdett
 2009 Relative Stranger (TV Movie)
 2006 Idlewild
Mother Hopkins
 2006 Fat Rose and Squeaky
 2006 Madea's Family Reunion
Aunt Myrtle
 2005 Higglytown Heroes (TV Series)
Great Aunt Shirley Hero
- Wayne's 100 Special Somethings (2005) ... Great Aunt Shirley Hero (voice)
 2005 Because of Winn-Dixie
 2002 The Proud Family (TV Series)
Mrs. Maureen Parker
- Behind Family Lines (2002) ... Mrs. Maureen Parker (voice)
 2002 The Rosa Parks Story (TV Movie)
Leona Edwards McCauley
 2001 Jewel (TV Movie)
 2000 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
Justice Gretchen Parkhurst
- Final Appeal 2 (2000) ... Justice Gretchen Parkhurst
- Final Appeal (2000) ... Justice Gretchen Parkhurst
 2000 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
Abigail Peabody-Jackson
- Living the Rest of My Life (2000) ... Abigail Peabody-Jackson
 1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (TV Mini-Series)
Emily Lincoln
- Episode #1.2 (1999) ... Emily Lincoln
- Episode #1.1 (1999) ... Emily Lincoln
 1999 A Lesson Before Dying (TV Movie)
Tante Lou
 1998 Always Outnumbered (TV Movie)
 1998 Mama Flora's Family (TV Mini-Series)
Mama Flora
- Episode #1.2 (1998) ... Mama Flora
- Episode #1.1 (1998) ... Mama Flora
 1997 Ms. Scrooge (TV Movie)
Ms. Ebenita Scrooge
 1997 Hoodlum
Stephanie St. Clair
 1997 The Price of Heaven (TV Movie)
Vesta Lotte Battle
 1997 Riot (TV Movie)
Maggie (segment "Homecoming Day")
 1997 Bridge of Time (TV Movie)
 1996 The Road to Galveston (TV Movie)
Jordan Roosevelt
 1994-1995 Sweet Justice (TV Series)
Carrie Grace Battle
- Love Kills (1995) ... Carrie Grace Battle
- The Sensational Six (1995) ... Carrie Grace Battle
- Muddy Waters (1995) ... Carrie Grace Battle
- Pledges (1995) ... Carrie Grace Battle
- Broken Ties (1995) ... Carrie Grace Battle
 1994 Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (TV Movie)
Castralia, Marsden Family House Slave / Maid
 1993 House of Secrets (TV Movie)
 1992 When No One Would Listen (TV Movie)
 1992 Duplicates (TV Movie)
Dr. Randolph
 1991 Fried Green Tomatoes
 1991 Clippers (TV Short)
 1990 The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Movie)
 1990 Heat Wave (TV Movie)
Ruthana Richardson
 1990 B.L. Stryker (TV Series)
Ruth Hastings
- Winner Takes All (1990) ... Ruth Hastings
 1989 The Women of Brewster Place (TV Series)
Mrs. Browne
- Episode #1.2 (1989) ... Mrs. Browne
- Episode #1.1 (1989) ... Mrs. Browne
 1986 Intimate Encounters (TV Movie)
Dr. Claire Dalton
 1986 Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story (TV Movie)
 1986 Acceptable Risks (TV Movie)
Janet Framm
 1985 Playing with Fire (TV Movie)
Carol Phillips
 1982 Benny's Place (TV Movie)
 1981 The Marva Collins Story (TV Movie)
Marva Collins
 1981 Bustin' Loose
Vivian Perry
 1978 King (TV Mini-Series)
Coretta Scott King
- Episode #1.3 (1978) ... Coretta Scott King
- Episode #1.2 (1978) ... Coretta Scott King
- Episode #1.1 (1978) ... Coretta Scott King
 1978 A Woman Called Moses (TV Series)
Harriet Ross Tubman
- Episode #1.2 (1978) ... Harriet Ross Tubman
- Episode #1.1 (1978) ... Harriet Ross Tubman
 1977 Wilma (TV Movie)
Blanche Rudolph
 1977 Roots (TV Mini-Series)
- Part II (1977) ... Binta
- Part I (1977) ... Binta
 1976 Just an Old Sweet Song (TV Movie)
Priscilla Simmons
 1976 The River Niger
Mattie Williams
 1976 The Blue Bird
 1974 The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (TV Movie)
Jane Pittman
 1972 Sounder
Rebecca Morgan
 1972 Wednesday Night Out (TV Movie)
 1972 Emergency! (TV Series)
Mrs. Johnson
- Crash (1972) ... Mrs. Johnson
 1972 Norman Corwin Presents (TV Series)
 1971 Neighbors (TV Movie)
 1971 Marriage: Year One (TV Movie)
Emma Teasley
 1971 Insight (TV Series)
- Bird on the Mast (1971) ... Edna
 1970 Gunsmoke (TV Series)
Rachel Biggs
- The Scavengers (1970) ... Rachel Biggs
 1970 Mission: Impossible (TV Series)
Alma Ross
- Death Squad (1970) ... Alma Ross
 1970 The Bill Cosby Show (TV Series)
Mildred Hermosa
- Blind Date (1970) ... Mildred Hermosa
 1970 Here Come the Brides (TV Series)
Princess Lucenda
- A Bride for Obie Brown (1970) ... Princess Lucenda
 1969 The Courtship of Eddie's Father (TV Series)
Betty Kelly
- Guess Who's Coming for Lunch (1969) ... Betty Kelly
 1968-1969 The F.B.I. (TV Series)
Lainey Harber / Julie Harmon
- Silent Partner (1969) ... Lainey Harber
- The Enemies (1968) ... Julie Harmon
 1969 Medical Center (TV Series)
Susan Wiley
- The Last Ten Yards (1969) ... Susan Wiley
 1967 Judd for the Defense (TV Series)
Lucille Evans
- Commitment (1967) ... Lucille Evans
 1967 Cowboy in Africa (TV Series)
Julie Anderson
- Tomorrow on the Wind (1967) ... Julie Anderson
 1967 The Comedians
Marie Therese
 1965-1966 I Spy (TV Series)
Vickie Harmon / Princess Amara
- Trial by Treehouse (1966) ... Vickie Harmon (as Cicley Tysson)
- So Long, Patrick Henry (1965) ... Princess Amara
 1966 Guiding Light (TV Series)
Martha Frazier
- Episode dated 9 August 1966 (1966) ... Martha Frazier
 1966 A Man Called Adam
Claudia Ferguson
 1965 Slattery's People (TV Series)
Sarah Brookman
 1963-1964 East Side/West Side (TV Series)
Jane Foster
- Here Today (1964) ... Jane Foster
- The Givers (1964) ... Jane Foster
- Nothing But the Half Truth (1964) ... Jane Foster
- The Name of the Game (1964) ... Jane Foster
- Take Sides with the Sun (1964) ... Jane Foster
 1963 Naked City (TV Series)
Darlene Knox
- Howard Running Bear Is a Turtle (1963) ... Darlene Knox
 1962 The Doctors and the Nurses (TV Series)
Betty Ann Warner
- Frieda (1962) ... Betty Ann Warner
 1960 CBS Repertoire Workshop (TV Series)
- Brown Girl, Brownstones (1960) ... Daughter
 1959 The Last Angry Man
Girl Left on Porch (uncredited)
 1959 Odds Against Tomorrow
Jazz Club Bartender (uncredited)
 1957 Carib Gold
 1951 Frontiers of Faith (TV Series)
- The Bitter Cup ... Tony
Show Show Producer (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (120 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: The Cool World. Written by Warren Miller and Robert Rossen. Based on the novel by Warren Miller. Directed by Robert Rossen [final Broadway credit]. Eugene O'Neill Theatre: 22 Feb 1960- 23 Feb 1960 (2 performances). Cast: Art Aveilhe (as "Lucky"), Ethel Ayler (as "Woman at the Beach"), Don Blakely (as "Savage"), Roscoe Lee Browne... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Interview | 3 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Alternate Names:

Cicley Tysson


5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on her commitment to choose only positive images] Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch -- what make you go beyond the norm. The choices of roles I made had to do with educating and entertaining. And as a result, I found myself working only every two or three years. See more »


She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Barack Obama, in a live televised ceremony held in the East Room of the White House, on November 22, 2016, along with twenty other recipients, the the largest, and final Medal of Freedom ceremony of Obama's presidency. At this ceremony, the twenty-one recipients, in alphabetical order, included: ... See more »

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