Image of Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

1924-12-19 New York City, New York, USA

Image of Cicely Tyson


Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and, with her stunning looks, she quickly rose to the top of the modeling industry. In 1957, she began acting in Off-Broadway productions. She had small roles in feature films before she was cast as Portia in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968). Four years later, Cicely was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her sensational performance in the critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972). In 1974, she went on to portray a 110-year-old former slave in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), which earned her two Emmy Awards. She also appeared in the television miniseries Roots (1977), King (1978) and A Woman Called Moses (1978). While Cicely has not appeared steadily onscreen because of her loyalty to only portray strong, positive images of Black women, she is without a doubt one of the most talented, beautiful actresses to have ever graced the stage and screen.


How It Feels to Be Free Self (archival footage) 2021-01-18
A Fall from Grace Alice 2020-01-17
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool Self 2019-08-23
Last Flag Flying Mrs. Hightower 2017-11-03
Showing Roots Hattie 2016-04-23
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise Herself 2016-10-14
And the Oscar Goes To... 2014-02-01
The Trip to Bountiful Mrs. Watts 2014-03-08
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia Mama Kay 2013-02-01
Alex Cross Nana Mama 2012-10-18
The Help Constantine Jefferson 2011-08-09
Why Did I Get Married Too? Ola 2010-04-02
Relative Stranger Pearl 2009-03-14
Madea's Family Reunion Myrtle 2006-02-24
Fat Rose and Squeaky Celine 2006-08-11
Idlewild Mother Hopkins 2006-08-25
Diary of a Mad Black Woman Myrtle 2005-02-25
Because of Winn-Dixie Gloria Dump 2005-02-18
The Rosa Parks Story Leona Edwards McCauley 2002-02-24
Jewel Cathedral 2001-02-07
A Lesson Before Dying Tante Lou 1999-05-22
Always Outnumbered Luvia 1998-03-21
Hoodlum Stephanie St. Clair 1997-08-27
Blessed Assurance Vesta Lotte Battle 1997-08-17
Ms. Scrooge Ms. Ebenita Scrooge 1997-12-10
The Road to Galveston 1996-01-24
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Castralia, Marsden Family House Slave / Maid 1994-05-01
House of Secrets Evangeline 1993-10-31
Duplicates Dr. Randolph 1992-03-18
Fried Green Tomatoes Sipsey 1991-12-27
Heat Wave Ruthana Richardson 1990-08-13
The Kid Who Loved Christmas Etta 1990-01-01
The Women of Brewster Place 1989-03-19
Acceptable Risks 1986-03-02
Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story Muriel 1986-05-19
Intimate Encounters Dr. Claire Dalton 1986-09-28
Playing with Fire Carol Phillips 1985-04-13
Benny's Place Odessa 1982-05-31
Night of 100 Stars 1982-03-08
The Marva Collins Story Marva Collins 1981-12-01
Bustin' Loose Vivian Perry 1981-05-22
The Concorde... Airport '79 Elaine 1979-08-17
A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich Sweets 1978-02-03
Wilma Blanche Rudolph 1977-12-19
The Blue Bird Tylette 1976-04-05
Just an Old Sweet Song Priscilla Simmons 1976-09-25
The River Niger Mattie Williams 1976-04-14
Free to Be… You and Me Herself 1974-03-11
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Jane Pittman 1974-01-31
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Cagney Herself 1974-03-18
Sounder Rebecca Morgan 1972-09-24
Marriage: Year One Emma Teasley 1971-10-15
Neighbors 1971-11-18
To Be Young, Gifted and Black: The World of Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words 1969-03-02
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Portia 1968-07-31
The Comedians Marie Therese 1967-10-31
A Man Called Adam Claudia Ferguson 1966-03-16
Odds Against Tomorrow Jazz Club Bartender (uncredited) 1959-10-15
The Last Angry Man Girl Left on Porch (uncredited) 1959-10-22
Carib Gold Dottie 1957-09-30
The Other Boys of Summer Narrator