Cicely Tyson



Biography

Actress, advocate, and humanitarian, Cicely Tyson is renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen, and television, from her stunning initial stage appearance as Barbara Allen in Dark of the Moon to her triumphant 2013 return to Broadway.

After a 30-year hiatus from the Broadway stage, Ms. Tyson returned as Mother Carrie Watts in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful in 2013, for which she received rave reviews and the triple crown of theater awards: the Tony(r), Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Actress in a Play. Ms. Tyson returns to the Broadway stage in September 2015 in The Gin Game co-starring James Earl Jones. 

Best known for her double Emmy(r) performance (Best Lead Actress in a Drama as well as a Special, unprecedented Emmy Award(r) for Actress of the Year) as Jane in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Ms. Tyson was also nominated for an Academy Award(r) for Sounder and received her third Emmy Award(r) for The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and was nominated for her performances in Roots, King, Sweet Justice, The Marva Collins Story, and A Lesson Before Dying. Her film credits include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Fried Green Tomatoes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Hoodlum, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married Too?, The Help, and Alex Cross.

            In March 2014, Ms. Tyson served as the executive producer of the film version of The Trip to Bountiful, presented on Lifetime television network. In 1977, as a student of the American Film Institute, Ms. Tyson directed the one-act play, Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn. 

            In recognition of her talent, dedication, and contributions, Ms. Tyson has been the recipient of countless awards including numerous Honorary Doctorates, most recently by Columbia University in 2014 as well as an unprecedented number of NAACP Image Awards. Other notable honors have been bestowed on her by the Princess Grace Foundation, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, National Civil Rights Museum, and organizations: PUSH, CORE, SCLC, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Ms. Tyson is among the elite number of entertainers honored with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and is the recipient of the NAACP's highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Award.

            Since 1996, Ms. Tyson has served as the guiding force of the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. This $143 million institution of academic and creative expression, in East Orange, New Jersey serves 1,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. This cultural icon continues to develop her art as she takes on new roles and opportunities in her efforts to enlighten the human race.
Cicely Tyson