Cicely Tyson

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Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson at Heart Truth 2009.jpg
Tyson at The Heart Truth's Fashion Show in 2009
Born (1933-12-19) December 19, 1933 (age 80)
New York, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1951–present
Spouse(s) Miles Davis (1981–1988; divorced)

Cicely L. Tyson (born December 19, 1933)[1] is an American actress. Tyson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and the Golden Globe Award for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder (1972). For this role she also won the NSFC Best Actress and NBR Best Actress Awards. She starred in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), for which she won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for a BAFTA Award.

Throughout her career she has been nominated for eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, winning three. In 2011, she appeared in the feature film version of The Help, for which she received awards for her ensemble work as Constantine from the BFCA and SAG Awards and she has an additional three SAG Award nominations. She starred on Broadway in The Trip to Bountiful as Carrie Watts, for which she won the Tony Award, Outer Critics Award, and Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play. She previously received a Drama Desk Award in 1962 for her Off-Broadway performance in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Tyson was born and raised in the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem. She is the daughter of Theodosia, a domestic and William Tyson, who worked as a carpenter, a painter,and any other jobs he could find. Her parents were immigrants from the island of Nevis in the West Indies;[2][3][4] Her father arrived in New York City at age 21 and was processed at Ellis Island on August 4, 1919.[5]

Career[edit]

Tyson in 1973

Tyson was discovered or found by a photographer for Ebony magazine and became a popular fashion model. Her first acting role was on the NBC series Frontiers of Faith (as 'Tony') in 1951.[6] Her first film role was in Carib Gold in 1956, but she went on to do more television work, such as the celebrated series East Side/West Side and the soap opera The Guiding Light.[citation needed]

In 1961, Tyson appeared in the original cast of French playwright Jean Genet's The Blacks, the longest running off-Broadway non-musical of the decade, running for 1,408 performances. The original cast also featured James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Browne, Louis Gossett, Jr., Godfrey Cambridge, Maya Angelou and Charles Gordone. She appeared with Sammy Davis, Jr. in the film A Man Called Adam (1966) and starred in the film version of Graham Greene's The Comedians (1967). Tyson had a featured role in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968), and appeared in a segment of the film Roots.[7]

In 1972, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the critically acclaimed Sounder. In 1974, she won two Emmy Awards for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Other acclaimed television roles included Roots; King, in which she portrayed Coretta Scott King, The Marva Collins Story, When No One Would Listen, and The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, for which she received her third Emmy Award.[citation needed]

In 1982, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women, who through their endurance and the excellence of their work have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.[8] In 1991 she appeared in the film Fried Green Tomatoes as Sipsey.

In her 1994–95 television series Sweet Justice, Tyson portrayed a civil rights activist, southern attorney named Carrie Grace Battle, a character she shaped by consulting with and shadowing the legendary Washington, D.C. civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Dovey Johnson Roundtree. In 2005, Tyson co-starred in the movies Because of Winn-Dixie and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The same year she was honored at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball.

The Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, a magnet school in East Orange, New Jersey, was renamed in her honor. She plays an active part in supporting the school, which serves one of New Jersey's most underprivileged African-American communities. In 2010, Tyson narrated the "Paul Robeson Award"-winning documentary, Up from the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream. In 2010, she appeared in Tyler Perry's film, Why Did I Get Married Too? In 2011, Tyson appeared in her first music video in Willow Smith's 21st Century Girl. That same year she played Constantine Jefferson in The Help.[9]

At the 67th Tony Awards on June 9, 2013, Tyson won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Miss Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful.[10] She also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for the role.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Davis and Tyson in 1982

Tyson married legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis on November 26, 1981. The ceremony was conducted by Atlanta mayor Andrew Young at the home of actor Bill Cosby. Tyson and Davis divorced in 1988. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. On May 17, 2009, Tyson received an honorary degree from Morehouse College, an all-male college. In 2010, she was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.[13] On May 21, 2014, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Columbia University.

Other[edit]

Tyson is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Cicely Tyson's face is featured on Miles Davis's 1967 album "Sorcerer".

Credits[edit]

Tyson as Miss Jane Pittman (1974)
The handprints of Cicely Tyson in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1956 Carib Gold
1958 Odds Against Tomorrow Jazz Club bartender
1959 Last Angry Man, TheThe Last Angry Man Girl Left on Porch (uncredited)
1966 Man Called Adam, AA Man Called Adam Claudia Ferguson
1967 Comedians, TheThe Comedians Marie Therese
1968 Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, TheThe Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Portia
1972 Sounder Rebecca Morgan Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1976 Blue Bird, TheThe Blue Bird Tylette, The Cat
1976 River Niger, TheThe River Niger Mattie Williams
1978 Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich, AA Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Sweets 1978 King Coretta King
1979 Concorde ... Airport '79, TheThe Concorde ... Airport '79 Elaine
1981 Bustin' Loose Vivian Perry
1991 Fried Green Tomatoes Sipsey
1997 Hoodlum Stephanie St. Clair Nominated — Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
2001 Double Dutch Divas!, TheThe Double Dutch Divas! Herself (short subject) (uncredited)
2005 Because of Winn-Dixie Gloria Dump
2005 Diary of a Mad Black Woman Myrtle NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated — BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Theatrical Film
Nominated — Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
2006 Madea's Family Reunion Myrtle
2006 Fat Rose and Squeaky Celine
2006 Idlewild Mother Hopkins
2007 Rwanda Rising Voice of Jeanette Nyirabagarwa (documentary)
2009 Up from the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream Narrator (documentary)
2010 Why Did I Get Married Too? Ola
2011 Help, TheThe Help Constantine Bates Black Film Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Nevada Film Critics Society for Best Ensemble Cast
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Best Ensemble
Nominated — Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2012 Alex Cross Nana Mama
2013 The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia Mamma Kay

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1962 Nurses, TheThe Nurses Betty Ann Warner Episode: "Frieda"
1963 Naked City Episode: "Howard Running Bear Is a Turtle"
1963–64 East Side/West Side (26 episodes)
1965 Slattery's People Sarah Brookman Episode: "Question: Who You Taking to the Main Event, Eddie?"
1965–66 I Spy Princess Amara
Vickie Harmon
Episode: "So Long, Patrick Henry"
Episode: "Trial by Treehouse"
1966 Guiding Light Martha Frazier
1967 Cowboy in Africa Julie Anderson Episode: "Tomorrow on the Wind"
1967 Judd for the Defense Lucille Evans Episode: "Commitment"
1968–69 F.B.I., TheThe F.B.I. Julie Harmon
Lainey Harber
Episode: "The Enemies"
Episode: "Silent Partners"
1969 Medical Center Susan Wiley Episode: "The Last 10 Yards"
1969 Courtship of Eddie's Father, TheThe Courtship of Eddie's Father Betty Kelly Episode: "Guess Who's Coming for Lunch"
1970 Gunsmoke Rachel Biggs Episode: "The Scavengers"
1970 Mission: Impossible Alma Ross Episode: "Death Squad"
1970 Bill Cosby Show, TheThe Bill Cosby Show Mildred Hermosa Episode: "Blind Date"
1970 Here Come the Brides Princess Lucenda Episode: "A Bride for Obie Brown"
1971 Insight Episode: "The Bird of the Mast"
1971 Marriage: Year One Emma Teasley (unsold pilot)
1971 Neighbors
1972 Emergency! Mrs. Johnson Episode: "Crash"
1972 Wednesday Night Out
1974 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, TheThe Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Jane Pittman Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Emmy Award for Actress of the Year – Special
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1974 Free to Be… You and Me Herself
1976 Just an Old Sweet Song Priscilla Simmons
1977 Roots Binta Miniseries
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1977 Wilma Blanche Rudolph
1978 King Coretta Scott King Miniseries
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1978 Woman Called Moses, AA Woman Called Moses Harriet Ross Tubman
1981 Marva Collins Story, TheThe Marva Collins Story Marva Collins NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1982 Benny's Place Odessa
1985 Playing with Fire Carol Phillips
1986 Intimate Encounters Dr. Claire Dalton
1986 Acceptable Risks Janet Framm
1986 Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story Muriel NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
1989 Women of Brewster Place, TheThe Women of Brewster Place Mrs. Browne
1990 Kid Who Loved Christmas, TheThe Kid Who Loved Christmas Etta
1990 B.L. Stryker Ruth Hastings Episode: "Winner Takes All"
1990 Heat Wave Ruthana Richardson CableACE Award for Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1991 Clippers Donna Unsold pilot
1991 Fried Green Tomatoes Sipsey
1992 Duplicates Dr. Randolph
1992 When No One Would Listen Sarah
1993 House of Secrets Evangeline
1994 Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Castralia, Marsden Family House Slave/Maid Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1994–95 Sweet Justice Carrie Grace Battle Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
1996 Road to Galveston, TheThe Road to Galveston Jordan Roosevelt NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best TV Actress
Nominated — CableACE Award for Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1997 Bridge of Time Guardian
1997 Riot Maggie Segment: "Homecoming Day"
Nominated — CableACE Award for Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1997 Ms. Scrooge Ms. Ebenita Scrooge
1997 The Price Of Heaven (Blessed Assurance) Vesta Lotte Battle
1998 Always Outnumbered Luvia
1998 Mama Flora's Family Mama Flora NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
1999 Lesson Before Dying, AA Lesson Before Dying Tante Lou Black Reel Award for Network/Cable – Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York Emily Lincoln
2000 Touched by an Angel Abby Episode: "Living the Rest of My Life"
2000 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Justice Gretchen Parkhurst Episode: "Final Appeal"
2001 Jewel Cathedral
2002 Rosa Parks Story, TheThe Rosa Parks Story Leona Edwards McCauley Black Reel Award for Network/Cable – Best Supporting Actress
2005 Higglytown Heroes Great Aunt Shirley Hero Episode: "Wayne's 100 Special Somethings"
2009 Relative Stranger Pearl Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2009 Law and Order: SVU Ondine Burdett Episode "Hell"
2014 The Trip to Bountiful Mrs. Carrie Watts TV Movie
Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie (executive producer)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Theatre
1957 Dark of the Moon[14] Little Theatre
1959 Jolly's Progress[15] Jolly (understudy) Longacre Theatre
1960 Cool World, TheThe Cool World[16] Girl Eugene O'Neill Theatre
1961 Blacks: A Clown Show, TheThe Blacks: A Clown Show[14][17] Stephanie Virtue Diop St. Mark's Playhouse
1962 Moon on a Rainbow Shawl[14] East 11th Street Theater
1962 Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright[18] Celeste Chipley
Adelaide Smith (understudy)
Booth Theatre
1963 Blue Boy in Black, TheThe Blue Boy in Black[14][19] Joan Masque Theatre
1963 Trumpets of the Lord[14][20] Rev. Marion Alexander Astor Place Theatre
1966 Hand Is on the Gate, AA Hand Is on the Gate[21] Performer Longacre Theatre
1968 Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights[14][22] Myrna Jessup John Golden Theatre
1969 To Be Young, Gifted and Black[14][23] Various Cherry Lane Theatre
1969 Trumpets of the Lord[24] Rev. Marion Alexander Brooks Atkinson Theatre
1983 Corn Is Green, TheThe Corn Is Green[25][26] Miss Moffat Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
2013 Trip to Bountiful, TheThe Trip to Bountiful Miss Carrie Watts Stephen Sondheim Theatre

References[edit]

  1. ^ The following sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], and [7] indicate she was born in 1924
  2. ^ Cicely Tyson. Filmreference.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  3. ^ CICELY TYSON: BAH, HUMBUG? ACTRESS STARS AS MS. SCROOGE.(LIVING). The Cincinnati Post, November 28, 1997
  4. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (1972-10-01). "Cicely, the Looker From 'Sounder'; Cicely, the Looker". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ The Staue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Ellisisland.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0268809/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_87
  7. ^ "IMDB - 'Roots' full cast". 
  8. ^ Women in Film website. Wif.org; retrieved 2013-08-09.
  9. ^ "IMDB - 'The Help'". 
  10. ^ Purcell, Carey (2013-06-09). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf? Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  11. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2013-05-19). "Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, Pippin, Matilda, Vanya and Sonia Win Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 13, 2013). Is Big Winner of 2012–13 Outer Critics Circle Awards "Pippin Is Big Winner of 2012–13 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ NAACP Spingarn Medal. Naacp.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Harrison, Paul Carter; Andrews, Bert (1989). In the Shadow of the Great White Way: Images from the Black Theatre (First ed.). New York, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. 
  15. ^ "Jolly's Progress". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  16. ^ "The Cood World". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  17. ^ "The Blacks: A Clown Show". New York, New York: Lortel Archives: The Internet off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  18. ^ "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright". United States: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  19. ^ "The Blue Boy in Black". New York, New York: Lortel Archives: The Internet off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  20. ^ "Trumpets of the Lord". New York, New York: Lortel Archives: The Internet off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  21. ^ "A Hand Is on the Gate". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  22. ^ "Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  23. ^ "To Be Young, Gifted and Black". New York, New York: Lortel Archives: The Internet off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  24. ^ "Trumpets of the Lord". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  25. ^ "The Corn Is Green". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  26. ^ "The Corn Is Green". New York, New York: Internet Theatre Database. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 

External links[edit]