Emmy and Tony award-winning theater, TV, and film actress Cicely Tyson, known for her role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, died on Thursday at the age of 96.
Tyson’s manager, Larry Thompson announced her “peaceful transition” on behalf of her family
“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon,” the statement read. “At this time, please allow the family their privacy.”
“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” Thompson said, according to Variety. “Cicely thought 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.”
Tributes on social media
Tributes to the veteran actress have flooded multiple social media platforms.
Stars who paid tribute on Twitter included Rihanna, actress Debbie Allen, and the TV personality, Gayle King.
The latest news comes after Jeanette Maus, who played multiple roles in the video game Resident Evil 8: Village, died at the age of 39.
Actress Cloris Leachman also died from “natural causes” at the age of 94.
Cicely Tyson bio
Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem to immigrant West Indian parents.
She worked as a model after she left high school and appeared in top magazines, such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Tyson’s career began in the 1950s, during which she played minor roles in multiple TV shows, including Frontiers of Faith and The Nurses.
She played minor roles in films such as Carib Gold (1957), Twelve Angry Men (1957), and Sidney Poitier’s Odds Against Tomorrow (1958).
Tyson got her big break in the 1970s when she played the lead role of Rebecca in the 1972 film Sounder.
She starred in the 1974 TV film, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. The film, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, was aired on CBS.
Tyson also appeared in major TV productions.
She played Binta in Roots, Blanche Rudolph in Wilma, Harriet Tubman in A Woman Called Moses, Mrs. Browne in The Women of Brewster Place, Castralia in Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, and Mrs. Watts in The Trip to Bountiful, according to IMDb.
She played Ophelia Harkness in the TV series How To Get Away With Murder.
Cicely Tyson earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Rebecca in Sounder, based on the novel by William H. Hunter.
In 2013, she won the Tony for best leading actress for her role as Carrie Watts in the Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote.
She also won two Emmys for her role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
Tyson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Her death comes after her memoir, Just As I Am, was published on Tuesday.