Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson


New York, New York

Birth Name

Cicely Tyson


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Born in New York City to immigrant parents from the Carribean, Cicely began her career as a fashion model and eventually moved to television and films in the 1950s and 1960s, including an appearance in the long-running soap opera Guiding Light. She later garnered critical acclaim and awards…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 1995 and 1997, Cicely was nominated for SAG Awards. In 1995, Cicely was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series" for Sweet Justice. She was also nominated that year for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries" for Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. In 1997, Cicely was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for The Road to Galveston.

    • Cicely Tyson is part of a 22-member commission designated to study and plan the design and construction of the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

    • In 1974, Cicely Tyson became a co-founder of the acclaimed Dance Theater of Harlem.

    • Cicely Tyson was once married to the late jazz legend Miles Davis.

    • In 1972, Cicely Tyson was nominated for an Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" for her portrayal of the character Rebecca Morgan in the film Sounder.

    • In April 2007, actress Cicely Tyson was part of a 25-member delegation of prominent African Americans lead by cable's Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson, that traveled to Monrovia, Liberia as part of a cultural and business exchange mission.

    • Cicely Tyson has been a vegetarian for a number of years.

    • Cicely Tyson has appeared as a model on the covers of both "Vogue" and "Harper's Bazaar" magazines in the 1950s.

    • Cicely Tyson once worked as a secretary for the Red Cross.

    • In 1983, Cicely Tyson returned to the stage after years of television and film work, to perform in a production of The Corn is Green.

    • Cicely Tyson received a star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" in 1997.

    • Cicely Tyson's first credited television role was opposite George C. Scott in the 1963 CBS television series East Side/West Side.

    • Cicely Tyson's first stage role was in a play called Dark of the Moon performed at the Harlem YMCA in New York City in the 1950s.

    • Early in her career, Cicely Tyson was discovered by a fashion Editor for "Ebony Magazine" and spent time as a model before becoming an actress and performer in Off-Broadway productions.

    • In 1974, Cicely Tyson won 2 Emmy awards, which included "Actress of the Year - Special" and "Best Lead Actress in a Drama" for her role as Jane Pittman, in the CBS TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

  • Quotes

    • Cicely Tyson: (about what she thought to herself after having a conversation with a journalist) Cicely, you cannot afford the luxury of just being an actress!

    • 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: In my work, people say I'm strong. But I'm not aware of any of it. If I were conscious of it, that can only get in the way of future performances.

    • Cicely Tyson: (about acting) You are limiting yourself if you only do roles that are positive for black women. But I decided early on in my career I would only do those roles. I almost did a blaxploitation movie. I read the script and had to retch. I knew if I did it, I would have spent the money on a psychologist.

    • Cicely Tyson: (commenting for a Jet Magazine article) I went around promoting Sounder and realized much of America was very ignorant about Black people and particularly Black women.

    • Cicely Tyson: Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch -- what make you go beyond the norm.

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