Prominent Hollywood, political and civil rights figures praised the profound legacy of Cicely Tyson, the groundbreaking Black actor known for an array of roles including her Oscar-nominated performance in the 1972 film “Sounder,” following news of her death on Thursday.
“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” said a statement from Tyson’s manager Larry Thompson.
After her successes in “Sounder” and, in 1974, “Miss Jane Pittman,” she continued to seek impactful roles, going on to appear in “Roots,” “King,” and “The Rosa Parks Story.” She spoke of the importance of using her career as a platform that would spotlight issues she believed in.
Social media flooded with tributes from those she touched, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King; the Rev. Al Sharpton; Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.), Val Demings (Fla.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.); actors Zendaya, Gabrielle Union, and Reese Witherspoon; journalists Gayle King and Dan Rather; and poet and activist Amanda Gorman.
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