Cicely Tyson

Actress, Model, Vendor
Throughout her five-plus decade career on stage and screen, Cicely Tyson was known for her dedication to truthfully exploring the broad spectrum of the African-American experience. Tyson was at the forefront of a shift ... Read more »
Born: 12/19/1933 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (103)

Broadway at the White House 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Guest

The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

How To Get Away With Murder 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Oprah's Master Class: Civil Rights Special 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Interviewee

The Trip to Bountiful 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia 2013 (Movie)

Mama Kay (Actor)

Alex Cross 2012 (Movie)

Nana Mama (Actor)

BET Honors 2012 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Performer

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The BET Honors 2011 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

The Help 2011 (Movie)

Costantine Jefferson (Actor)

The 41st NAACP Image Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? 2010 (Movie)

Ola (Actor)

Guiding Light 1951 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Relative Stranger 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual NAACP Image Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Fat Rose and Squeaky 2008 (Movie)

Celine (Actor)

2005 Black Movie Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Idlewild 2006 (Movie)

Mother Hopkins (Actor)

Madea's Family Reunion 2006 (Movie)

Myrtle (Actor)

Oprah Winfrey's Legends' Ball 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Because of Winn-Dixie 2005 (Movie)

Gloria Dump (Actor)

Diary of a Mad Black Woman 2005 (Movie)

Myrtle (Actor)

A Capitol Fourth (2004) 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

10th Annual Trumpet Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Outer Limits 1994 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Jewel 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Aftershock: Earthquake in New York 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Harriet Taubman 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Touched By an Angel 1999 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

CBS: The First 50 Years 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Hoodlum 1997 (Movie)

Stephanie "Queen" St Clair (Actor)

Riot 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Sidney Poitier: The Defiant One 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 18th Annual CableACE Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Screen Actors Guild Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Presenter

Sweet Justice 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A Century of Women 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

House of Secrets 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Presenter

Celebrate the Soul of American Music 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Performer

Clippers 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Fried Green Tomatoes 1991 (Movie)

Sipsey (Actor)

Visions of Freedom: A Time Television Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Winner Takes All 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

At Rona's 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 20th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Performer

The Blessings of Liberty 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

We the People 200: The Constitutional Gala 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Performer

Liberty Weekend 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Playing With Fire 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Bustin' Loose 1981 (Movie)

Vivian Perry (Actor)

The Concorde - Airport '79 1979 (Movie)

Elaine Gilbert (Actor)

CBS: On the Air 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich 1977 (Movie)

Sweet (Actor)

The Blue Bird 1975 (Movie)

Cat (Actor)

The River Niger 1974 (Movie)

Mattie Williams (Actor)

Free To Be...You And Me 1973 (Movie)

(Actor)

Sounder 1972 (Movie)

Rebecca Morgan (Actor)

Wednesday Night Out 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter 1968 (Movie)

Portia (Actor)

The Comedians 1967 (Movie)

Marie Therese (Actor)

A Man Called Adam 1965 (Movie)

Claudia Ferguson (Actor)

Odds Against Tomorrow 1959 (Movie)

Fra (Actor)

A Lesson Before Dying (TV Show)

Actor

A Woman Called Moses (TV Show)

Actor

Acceptable Risks (TV Show)

Actor

Always Outnumbered (TV Show)

Actor

Benny's Place (TV Show)

Actor

Bridge of Time (TV Show)

Actor

Duplicates (TV Show)

Actor

East Side/West Side (TV Show)

Actor

Heat Wave (TV Show)

Actor

House of Secrets (Movie)

Evangeline (Actor)

Intimate Encounters (TV Show)

Actor

Jewel (Movie)

Cathedral (Actor)

Just an Old Sweet Song (TV Show)

Actor

King (TV Show)

Actor

Mama Flora's Family (TV Show)

Actor

Marriage: Year One (TV Show)

Actor

Ms. Scrooge (TV Show)

Actor

Roots (TV Show)

Actor

The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Show)

Actor

The Marva Collins Story (TV Show)

Actor

The Price of Heaven (TV Show)

Actor

The Road to Galveston (TV Show)

Actor

The Rosa Parks Story (TV Show)

Actor

The Women of Brewster Place (TV Show)

Actor

When No One Would Listen (TV Show)

Actor

Wilma (TV Show)

Actor

Without Borders (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Throughout her five-plus decade career on stage and screen, Cicely Tyson was known for her dedication to truthfully exploring the broad spectrum of the African-American experience. Tyson was at the forefront of a shift away from one-dimensional, negative screen stereotypes of black women with her starring role in "Sounder" (1972), which was groundbreaking in its portrayal of the dignity, strength and courage of a Depression-era African-American family. The acclaimed film and Tyson's Oscar-nominated leading role opened the doors for a whole new era of black storytelling, and Tyson came to represent this strong and wise image of African-American women with revered performances in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (CBS, 1973) and "Roots" (ABC, 1977). Television movies offered the most opportunities for this actress with a mission, and she went on to recreate renowned moments and figures in African-American heritage in "King" (1978), "A Woman Called Moses" (1978), and "Heat Wave" (1990), among others. Whether playing an educated professional, the backbone of a challenged family, or a woman moved by an extraordinary sense of purpose, Tyson continually raised the standards of African-American imagery on film.

Relationships

Melrose

Brother
Born c. March 1922 Died of lung cancer

Emily

Sister
Died of lung cancer

Miles Davis Song Performer

Husband
Married Nov. 26, 1981 in the home of Bill Cosby, who gave away the bride Divorced 1988

William Tyson

Father
West Indian immigrant

Theodosia Tyson

Mother
West Indian immigrant

EDUCATION

AFI Conservatory

Los Angeles , California
Took a directing workshop for women

AFI Conservatory

1977

Actors Studio

New York , New York

New York University

New York , New York

Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute

1977

Milestones

2013

Cast in horror sequel "The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia"

2012

Featured in crime thriller "Alex Cross," based on the novel Cross by James Patterson and starring Tyler Perry

2011

Played Constantine Jefferson in feature adaptation of "The Help"

2010

Once again worked with writer and director Perry in "Why Did I Get Married Too?"

2009

Nominated for the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

2009

Appeared in Hallmark Channel production "Relative Stranger"; earned Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Movie

2006

Re-teamed with Perry for "Madea's Family Reunion"

2005

Co-starred in Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman"

2005

Featured in family drama "Because of Winn-Dixie"

2001

Cast as title character's mother in CBS biopic "The Rosa Parks Story"

1999

Earned seventh Emmy nomination for role in acclaimed HBO drama "A Lesson Before Dying"

1998

Starred in "Alex Haley's Mama Flora's Family" (CBS)

1997

Headlined USA Network holiday movie "Ms. Scrooge"

1997

Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1997

Co-starred in crime film "Hoodlum"

1994

Returned to series TV when she played Carrie Grace Battle on NBC courtroom drama "Sweet Justice"

1994

Played lead in CBS movie "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All"

1991

Played pivotal role in "Fried Green Tomatoes"

1989

Landed featured role in ABC miniseries "The Women of Brewster Place"

1983

Returned to the stage in production of "The Corn Is Green"

1978

Portrayed Coretta Scott King in NBC miniseries "King"

1978

Starred as Harriet Tubman in NBC miniseries "A Woman Called Moses"

1977

Played Kunta Kinte's mother in ABC miniseries "Roots"

1973

Played lead role in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (CBS)

1972

Delivered breakthrough film role in "Sounder"; earned Best Actress Oscar nomination

1968

Featured in off-Broadway play "To Be Young Gifted and Black"

1966

Appeared on CBS daytime drama "The Guiding Light"

1963

TV debut as series regular, "East Side, West Side" (CBS)

1961

Gained notice for her performance in off-Broadway production of Genet's "The Blacks"

1959

Broadway debut, "Jolly's Progress"

1959

Made film debut in "Odds Against Tomorrow"

Began modeling after being discovered by a photographer for Ebony magazine

Bonus Trivia

.

The year of Tyson's birth was variously reported as 1925, 1933, and 1939.

.

She was awarded honorary doctorates from Atlanta University, Loyola University, and Lincoln University.

.

Tyson received a National Council of Negro Woman Award.

.

The Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, a magnet school in East Orange, NJ, was renamed in her honor.

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