Cicely Tyson, actress in 'Roots,' 'The Help,' passes away at 96

The passing of Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson in 'Sounder'
Jack Nicholson and Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson starred in 'Roots'
Three-time Emmy Award winner and nine-time Emmy Award nominee
Cicely Tyson in 'Fried Green Tomatoes'
Cicely Tyson in 'The Help'
An icon for African-American women in Hollywood
Cicely Tyson and Princess Charlene of Monaco
Cicely Tyson in 'House of Cards' and 'How to Get Away with Murder'
Cicely Tyson in theaters
Goodbye to an iconic actress
The passing of Cicely Tyson

She died at the age of 96 after a long life of work in films and television series. In 2017, she got an Honorary Oscar - not only for her acting talent but also for her significant contributions to the cause of African-American actresses, as she had struggled for decades in an industry marked by discrimination. Let's have a look at Cicely Tyson's main roles in cinema and TV shows.

Cicely Tyson in 'Sounder'

Born in Harlem, New York, Cicely Tyson was the daughter of Caribbean immigrants. Her father worked as a carpenter, painter and other manual trades, and her mother was a housewife. Cicely began her artistic career as a model, in in 1956 she had her first acting role. Her role in the film 'Sounder' got her an Oscar nomination in 1973. It tells the story of an African-American family during the Great Depression.

Jack Nicholson and Cicely Tyson

In 1975, 'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman' came out. Cicely Tyson played the lead role of a 110-year-old African-American woman revisiting her long life, starting with her childhood as an enslaved girl. She was nominated for a BAFTA, won an Emmy award, and consolidated her status as a Hollywood star rubbing shoulders with other big stars on the red carpet.

Cicely Tyson starred in 'Roots'

Cicely Tyson also participated in a worldwide television milestone: the series 'Roots', which follows the family of Kunta Kinte, a man taken from Africa and enslaved in the United States. The TV production told the story of American slavery from the perspective of the enslaved and became a massive success in the 1970s. Tyson won another Emmy for her role in 'Roots'.

Three-time Emmy Award winner and nine-time Emmy Award nominee

Cicely Tyson won her third Emmy for 'Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All', a miniseries about the Civil War in which she reprised her role as an enslaved woman.

Cicely Tyson in 'Fried Green Tomatoes'

In 1991 Cicely Tyson appeared in the blockbuster 'Fried Green Tomatoes', a Southern melodrama centering on women remembering different milestones in their lives.

Cicely Tyson in 'The Help'

In another famous Southern story, twenty years later, Cicely Tyson plays the nanny and maid Constantine Jefferson. Indeed, it's the movie 'The Help' in 2011.

An icon for African-American women in Hollywood

Cicely Tyson has been a permanent presence in American film and television and, in some ways, an African-American icon. As such, she has been honored and awarded numerous times.

Cicely Tyson and Princess Charlene of Monaco

The once poor girl from Harlem had princesses wanting to take a photo with her.

Cicely Tyson in 'House of Cards' and 'How to Get Away with Murder'

Cicely Tyson continued working until the end. Awarded with an Oscar in 2017, she appeared in 'House of cards,' 'How to Get Away with Murder,' and 'Cherish the Day.'

Cicely Tyson in theaters

Cicely Tyson was also a major stage actress and achieved great success on Broadway. She won a Tony Award for her work in 'The Trip to Bountiful.'

Goodbye to an iconic actress

With Cicely Tyson, Hollywood loses a figure who's part of film and television history as well as an African-American icon. She was the example of a woman who fought her way from humble beginnings to Hollywood stardom.

Read also: The late actress Cloris Leachman was much more than Malcolm's grandmother.

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