Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

Dec. 19th, 1933
Born in
New York City, New York, USA
5' 3 1/2"

Cicely Tyson's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
East Side/West Side TV Show
East Side/West Side

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Cicely Tyson was raised in Harlem, New York by devoutly religious parents from the Caribbean island of Nevis. 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) in 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) (TV), which earned her two Emmys. While Cicely has not appeared steadily onscreen because of her loyality 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.

  • She was married to 'Miles Davis (I)' (qv) by 'Andrew Young (IV)' (qv) in the home of 'Bill Cosby' (qv). Bill Cosby was the best man, and gave away the bride.
  • Is the first African American Actress to win an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie for her performance in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman".
  • Will only portray strong images of women
  • The Cicely Tyson High School of Performing and Fine arts was named in her honor is located in East Orange, New Jersey.
  • In 1972 she and singer-actress 'Diana Ross (I)' (qv) were both nominated for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" Oscars for their performances in _Lady Sings the Blues (1972)_ (qv) and _Sounder (1972)_ (qv) respectively. This was only the second time in the history of the Academy Awards that African American actresses were nominated in the "Best Actress" Oscar category. The first was 'Dorothy Dandridge' (qv)'s nomination for _Carmen Jones (1954)_ (qv).
  • Is one of only 7 African-American actresses to receive the Best Actress Oscar nomination. The others in chronological order are: 'Dorothy Dandridge' (qv), 'Diana Ross (I)' (qv), 'Diahann Carroll' (qv), 'Whoopi Goldberg' (qv), 'Angela Bassett' (qv) and 'Halle Berry' (qv).
  • Aunt of 'Cathy Tyson' (qv).
  • Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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