Cicely Tyson Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (25)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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 top of the modeling industry. In 1957, she began acting in Off-Broadway productions. She had small roles in feature films before she was cast as Portia in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968). Four years later, Cicely was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her sensational performance in the critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972). In 1974, she went on to portray a 110-year-old former slave in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), which earned her two Emmy Awards. She also appeared in the television miniseries Roots (1977), King (1978) and A Woman Called Moses (1978). While Cicely has not appeared steadily onscreen because of her loyalty to only portray strong, positive images of Black women, she is without a doubt one of the most talented, beautiful actresses to have ever graced the stage and screen.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Miles Davis (26 November 1981 - 29 April 1988) ( divorced)

Trivia (25)

Worked as a secretary and model while establishing herself as an actress.
Will only portray strong images of women.
Co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem with Arthur Mitchell.
She was married to Miles Davis by Andrew Young in the home of Bill Cosby. Bill Cosby was the best man, and gave away the bride.
Currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
She was the Thursday night host for CBS Radio's "Sears Mystery Theater" (1979). She was still Thursday's host when it became "The Mutual Radio Theater" on Mutual Radio (1980).
Aunt of Cathy Tyson.
Is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Is the first-African American actress to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie for her performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974).
In 1972, she and singer-actress Diana Ross were both nominated for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" Oscars for their performances in Sounder (1972) and Lady Sings the Blues (1972), respectively. This was only the second time in the history of the Academy Awards that African-American actresses were nominated in the "Best Actress" Oscar category. The first was Dorothy Dandridge's nomination for Carmen Jones (1954).
The Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing & Fine Arts was named in her honor is located in East Orange, New Jersey. She visits the school frequently, and occasionally teaches a master class in acting.
Tyson won a judgment entitling her to full payment ($750,000) for her appearance in the short-lived 1983 Broadway play "The Corn Is Green". An Appeals Court upheld an earlier ruling handed down in 1996 in favor of Tyson. She was under contract to producer Elizabeth Taylor to act in stage and screen versions of the classic play. After critics panned the play, Tyson was fired for taking a night off to attend a tribute to her then-husband, the late jazz musician Miles Davis. The play closed after less than two weeks. Tyson maintained she should be paid as negotiated in her contract, even though the show closed early and a planned TV video of the production was never made.
Is one of 10 African-American actresses to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are: Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe, Viola Davis and Quvenzhané Wallis.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 21, 1997.
Has been a vegetarian since the 1960s.
According to the New York Times, when Ms. Tyson won a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for "The Trip to Bountiful" on June 9, 2013, she became the oldest person ever to win an acting Tony.
Was considered for the role of Mags in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), which went to Lynn Cohen.
Inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.
Pictured on a $3.25 postage stamp issued by the island of Nevis on 1 January 2014.
Was misreported as being a decade younger than she actually was until The New York Times found out her real age in 2013. The newspaper claimed Tyson was born in 1924 and that she did not dispute it when they checked with her before printing the date.
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: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elouise Cobell (posthumous award given to her son), Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Richard Garwin, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Frank Gehry, Margaret Hamilton (as Margaret H. Hamilton), Tom Hanks, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (posthumous award given to her niece), Michael Jordan, Maya Lin, Lorne Michaels, Newton Minow, Eduardo Padron (as Eduardo Padrón), Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen, and Cicely Tyson.
On November 23rd 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for her contribution to the arts and American culture,.
Acting mentor of Kevin Hooks.
Remains close friends with Kevin Hooks, during and after both movies Sounder (1972) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (1978).
Was offered the title role in Claudine (1974) but she turned it down as she didn't feel morally that she could play an unmarried mother of six falsely claiming welfare. Diahann Carroll, who received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.

Personal Quotes (5)

[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.
One lady told me that before she saw Sounder (1972), she didn't believe black people could love each other, have deep relationships in the same way as white people.
[of 'trances' she seems to occupy to prepare for roles] I'm looking inside myself. Inside of me is where this character is coming from, and I was feeling a sense of who this woman can be... I am the character [on set] until I go home.
How do you project a character if you don't have a sense of where she is from? I've always just gotten on a plane to go to the area to get a sense of what it is like, to smell it, feel the earth, hear people talk, go to the marketplaces. Being there [in Texas] I understood very clearly why my character [Carrie Watts in "The Trip to Bountiful"] longed to return because I was myself mesmerized by the beauty of the place and the tender enfolding of the gulf wind.
Age is just a number. Life and aging are the greatest gifts that we could possibly ever have.

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