While there are so many different credits and honors to run through with Tyson, to us it all begins with East Side/West Side. Back in 1963, she became the first Black actress to co-star in a TV drama. It is still shocking that it did not happen before then, and she paved the way for almost sixty years of actors to step into these roles. Like the aforementioned Leachman, Tyson spent seven decades within the entertainment industry, alternating often between TV and film.
In a statement confirming her passing, Tyson’s manager in Larry Thompson had the following to say per Variety:
“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.”
What a powerful and lovely way to commemorate a legend, and many more tributes will likely come out.
Tyson appeared on television as recently as last year, when she graced How to Get Away with Murder one last time as Annalise’s mother Ophelia Harkness. Seeing her work alongside Viola Davis was a thing of beauty, and some of her other TV credits include House of Cards, Law & Order: SVU, the aforementioned East Side/West Side, Sweet Justice, and also The Outer Limits. We can’t even begin to imagine the stories that she had.
On the film side, you know Tyson from Fried Green Tomatoes, The Help, and then also Because of Winn-Dixie.
Tyson will be missed for her power, her command, her grace, and also her ability to lift everyone around her. This industry will not be the same without her, and it’s remarkable to thing of how powerful she was on-screen from start to finish. Our thoughts go out to her family and loved ones during this very difficult time. (Photo: ABC.)