Actress and Emmy winner Cicely Tyson has passed at the age of 96.
“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon,” Tyson’s family said in a statement, via her manager, Larry Thompson. “At this time, please allow the family their privacy. A formal statement and details will follow.”
In his own statement, Thompson said, “I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing. Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree.”
Tyson was a legendary actress in television, film, and Broadway. The actress had a career that spanned over 60 years and was known for playing strong, resilient characters. Tyson has won an Emmy, Tony, and Screen Actors Guild award during her career.
Tyson played roles in notable TV shows including How to Get Away with Murder opposite Viola Davis and House of Cards. She also held many memorable film roles such as 2011’s The Help and several Tyler Perry movies including Madea’s Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
In 2016, Tyson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor and has been given in the past to many influential stars such as Ellen DeGeneres, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan, and Bruce Springsteen.