The groundbreaking Hollywood actress Cicely Tyson, who was known for playing strong African-American characters, is 96 years old, her manager said.
No cause of death was given. The former fashion model had a career that spanned seven decades.
Tyson won two Emmies for her performance in the 1974 film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
She also became the first black woman to star in the TV drama East Side / West Side in the 1960s.
The then US President Barack Obama, who presented Tyson with the 2016 presidential medal of freedom, said that apart from her achievements as an actress, she also shaped the course of history.
Tyson rejected stereotypical roles for black women and only agreed to play characters who were strong, positive, and realistic.
“I have been running Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and it has been a privilege and a blessing every year,” Larry Thompson, her manager, said in a statement announcing her death Thursday.
Cicely thinks of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life.
“Today, she placed the last ornament, a star, on top of the tree,” the driver said, adding that she died peacefully.
Tyson’s memoir Just As I Am was published on Tuesday and Vulture wrote about seven highlights from the book, among which she accidentally enlisted the help of Mr.
Born in Harlem, New York, she was raised by her religious parents from the Caribbean island of Nevis.
After being discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine, her modeling career began.
By 1957, she had appeared in off-Broadway productions and landed small roles in feature films before being portrayed in 1968 as Portia in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.
The American broadcaster and actress Oprah Winfrey, who paid tribute, said: “She used her career to illuminate black people’s humanity. The roles she plays reflect her values; she never compromised. ”
Tyson recently told CBS interviewer Gayle King: “I had no idea I was going to touch anyone.”
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