Cicely Tyson as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder, released in September, 1972.
Cicely Tyson on Wikipedia
Cicely Tyson on the Internet Movie Database
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cicely Tyson
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, April 27, 2018
 
Born: December 19,1924, in Harlem, New York City, New York
Age at the time of the ceremony: 93
 
Cicely Tyson is the dean of African American actors. Over the years, Tyson has made a name for herself playing decade-spanning roles sometimes, but always honoring a certain truth in each of her performances — no matter how stylized.

Tyson's parents both emmigrated from the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis, going through Ellis Island in 1919. Mother Frederica became a domestic, while father William became a handyman. Cicely was discovered by a photographer from Ebony magazine, which led to modelling work. Her first role came with an occasionally produced show on NBC called Frontiers of Faith where she played Ruby Dee's daughter in an episode called "The Bitter Cup" aired over NBC in 1957.

On Broadway, she was understudy to Eartha Kitt in Jolly's Progress in late 1959, but it ran for only nine perfs. Tyson was cast as Ossie Davis' daughter in "Brown Girl, Brownstones" episode of CBS Repertorie Workshop aired over CBS in April 1960.

Off-Broadway, Tyson played Stephanie Virtue Diop in the American premiere of Jean Genet's The Blacks: A Clown Show, running for 1,408 perfs at the St. Mark's Playhouse on 2nd Avenue, from May 1961 to September 1964. Also in the cast were Maya Angelou, Roscoe Lee Brown, Godfrey Cambridge, Louis Gossett Jr., James Earl Jones and Raymond St. Jacques.

Tyson became the first African-American to be a regular on a network TV program, playing Jane Foster in 25 episodes of East Side/West Side aired over CBS from September 1963 to April 1964, with George C. Scott.

Film work came slowly. She played Louis Armstrong's daughter in A Man Called Adam (released in August 1966), with Sammy Davis Jr.; she played a prostitute in The Comedians (released in October 1967), with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Back on Broadway, Tyson appeared in Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights, with Louis Gossett Jr. and Diane Ladd, directed by Sidney Poitier in February 1968, but it flopped.

Tyson has a role in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (released in July 1968), with Alan Arkin. At this point, she guested on a bunch of television shows: she played O.J. Simpson's wife in the pilot for Medical Center aired over CBS in September 1969, The F.B.I. aired over ABC in October 1969, The Courtship of Eddie's Father aired over ABC in October 1969, Here Come the Brides aired over ABC in January 1970, The Bill Cosby Show aired over NBC in March 1970, Mission: Impossible aired over CBS in March 1970 and Gunsmoke aired over CBS in November 1970.

When producer Robert Radnitz and director Martin Ritt chose to make a film of Sounder (released in September 1972), they cast Tyson in the role of the mother of the family, Rebecca, with Paul Winfield as her husband Nathan and Kevin Hooks as son David Lee. The film did well in the marketplace, and Tyson and Windfield both got Oscar nominations — they lost out to The Godfather and Cabaret.

She won a Primetime Emmy for her role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman aired over CBS in January 1974, with Richard Dysart. The film The River Niger (released in April 1976), with Jmaes Earl Jones, did well, and she played Kunta Kinte's mother Binta in Roots aired over ABC in January 1977, with LaVar Burton.

Tyson played the mother of the Olympic runner Wilma (Randolph) aired over NBC in December 1977, with Shirley Jo Finney in the title role, and re-united with Paul Winfield, playing Sweets in A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (released in February 1978). She played Coretta Scott King in King aired over NBC in February 1978, with Paul Winfield in the title role, and played Harriet Tubmen in A Woman Called Moses aired over NBC in December 1978.

Returning to Broadway, Tyson played Miss Moffat in The Corn is Green with Peter Gallagher for 32 perfs in August 1983, then played Mrs. Brown in The Women of Brewster Place aired over ABC in 1989, with Oprah Winfrey. Back on the big screen, Tyson played Sipsey, who makes all the Fried Green Tomatoes (released in December 1991), with Kathy Bates.

Tyson again won an Emmy for her work in Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All aired over CBS in May 1994, with Diane Lane. She had the lead role as a civil rights attorney Carrie Grace Battle in 23 episoeds of Sweet Justice aired over NBC in September 1994, with Melissa Gilbert; for the holidays, she played "Ebanita" Scrooge in Ms. Scrooge aired over USA Network in December 1997.

A Lesson Before Dying aired over HBO in May 1999), with Don Cheadle, was directed by Joseph Sargent and won an Emmy for best TV movie. She played Leona McCauley, mother to Rosa in The Rosa Parks Story aired over CBS in February 2002, with Angela Bassett in the title role. Tyson took supporting roles in Because of Winn-Dixie (released in February 2005), with Jeff Daniels and in Diary of a Mad Black Woman (released in February 2005), with Tyler Perry. She played Constance Jefferson in The Help (released in August 2011), with Emma Stone.

Back on Broadway, Tyson played Mrs. Carrie Watts in a revival of Horton Foote's play The Trip to Bountiful with Cuba Gooding Jr. (in his Broadway debut) for 187 perfs from April to October 2013. Tyson snagged a Tony Award for her work in this play. She played Mrs. Watts once more in The Trip to Bountiful aired over Lifetime in March 2014, with Vanessa Williams.

Tyson played Ophelia Harkness in seven episodes of How to Get Away with Murder aired over ABC from February 2015 to February 2019, with Viola Davis, and returned to Broadway playing Fonsia Dorsey in The Gin Game with James Earl Jones as Weller Martin, for 92 perfs from October 2015 to January 2016.
 
 
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Cicely Tyson Forecourt block. Executed by Unknown. Friday, April 27, 2018. 30 x 20 inches.
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Cicely Tyson Forecourt ceremony, Friday, April 27, 2018. Ms. Tyson places he hands securely into the wet cement.
 
©  Copryright Graumanschinese.org