Emmy and Tony-winning actress Cicely Tyson dies at 96

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By , RADIO.COM

Trailblazing stage, film and television actress Cicely Tyson has died at the age of 96.

According to Variety, Tyson passed away on Thursday. A cause of death has not been revealed.

“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” Tyson’s manager, Larry Thompson, said in a statement. “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.”

With a career spanning more than six decades, Tyson forged a ground-breaking path refusing to take roles that portrayed Black women in a demeaning or negative light.

Tyson earned an Oscar nomination for the 1973 film “Sounder” and received an Honorary Oscar in 2018.

Her portrayal of the titular role in the 1974 television movie "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" earned Tyson two Emmy Awards.

The New York native received a Tony Award for her performance in the 2013 Broadway production of "The Trip to Bountiful."

Tyson's long list of accolades include being bestowed with a Kennedy Center honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

While receiving the Medal of Freedom in 2016, President Barack Obama praised Tyson for her impact on the world.

“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only exceeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history,” Obama said. "Cicely made a conscious decision not just to say lines, but to speak out. Cicely’s convictions and grace have helped for us to see the dignity of every beautiful member of the American family — and, she’s just gorgeous.”

Other film roles include "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Idlewild," and "The Help."

For her recurring role on the ABC drama "How to Get Away with Murder," Tyson received five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama.

Tyson was married twice, most recently to jazz musican Miles Davis from 1981 - 1988.

On Tuesday, Tyson's memoir “Just As I Am” was released.

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