Cicely Tyson Dead: ‘HTGAWM’ Star & Black American Trailblazer Dies At 96

Cicely Tyson, award-winning actress and model, died at the age of 96 just two days after appearing in her final TV interview. You can watch her last memorable words, here.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cicely Tyson has sadly died at the age of 96 on Jan. 28. The three-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning actress’ death was announced through her manager, Larry Thompson, who issued a statement on behalf of Cicely’s family 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,” the manager wrote in a statement to HollywoodLife.

Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson proudly holds up her Primetime Emmy Awards in 1974. (Photo Credit: AP Images)

Cicely’s manager added, “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.”

Just two days before her passing, Cicely released a memoir called Just as I Am: A Memoir which the iconic actress discussed during an interview on CBS This Morning, which aired on the very same day of the book’s release. “Whenever I’m offered a script, what I’m interested in when I get it is, ‘Why me?’ Who was that character, and why did they want me to play it?,” Cicely said in her last-ever TV interview, which you can watch below.

Cicely’s death is a great loss for the film and television industry. The Hollywood legend‘s career spanned more than six decades, and on Feb. 24, 2019, she made history by being the first black woman to receive the Honorary Academy Award. In addition to her Emmys and the prestigious Oscar, Cicely has won a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Tony Award.

In addition to film, television and musical awards, Cicely’s fantastic career was honored with other amazing awards. In 2015, she named a Kennedy Center honoree, and in 2016, she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Cicely Tyson
Cicely Davis in the 2005 film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. (Photo Credit: Everett Collection)

Cicely’s most recently known for her portrayal as Ophelia Harkness, the mother of Annalise Keating in the ABC drama, How to Get Away with Murder. She starred in the role since the show’s beginning in 2014. She also appeared in many popular films, including Fried Green Tomatoes, The Help, and The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. She also took on the powerful role of a woman who took part in the civil rights movement after being born into slavery in the legendary television movie, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Cicely was married to jazz musician Miles Davis from 1981 until 1989, and her new memoir also goes into detail about their love story. She has no children.

Cicely will be very missed. We’re sending healing thoughts to her family, friends and fans at this sad time.