Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about Cicely Tyson. Check it out!
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.
Interesting Facts about Cicely Tyson
- Will only portray strong images of women.
- 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.
- Aunt of Cathy Tyson.
- Is one of 11 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, Quvenzhané Wallis and Cynthia Erivo.
- 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.
- Pictured on a $3.25 postage stamp issued by the island of Nevis on 1 January 2014.
- (September 6, 2018) Was announced as one of the recipients of this year’s honorary Oscars by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She make history at the Governors Awards as the first black woman to receive an Oscar in the honorary award category.
- Is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- 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.
- 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).
- Inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.
- She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 21, 1997.
Personal Quotes by Cicely Tyson
I don’t think you can measure wealth in dollars and cents. I really don’t believe that at all because there are some things that money cannot buy. One of them is health. And the other is security in your relationships and friends.- Cicely Tyson
I feel so guilty about the state of young people today. And I say that because our generation fought for everything. We fought to sit down at a counter, to sit on a bus. They were left with nothing to fight for.- Cicely Tyson
I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there’s nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.- Cicely Tyson
My mother was an introvert and quite religious. And we were brought up in the church. And when she learned that I wanted to act, she simply said: ‘You cannot live here and do that.’- Cicely Tyson