Veteran actress Cicely Tyson, whose career in Hollywood spanned nearly seven decades, passed away Thursday. She was 96.

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“I have regulated Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” Tyson’s manager, Larry Thompson, claimed in a statement come our sister pub Variety. “Cicely assumed of her brand-new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated through all the ornaments of her an individual and skilled life. Today she placed the critical ornament, a Star, on optimal of the tree.” (A reason of death has not been revealed.)

On the tiny screen, Tyson made background in 1963 v her duty as secretary woman Foster in CBS’ east Side/West Side, making she the first Black actress to co-star in a TV drama. She go on come guest-star or recur in many series over the years — including Guiding Light, The outer Limits, touched by one Angel, residence of Cards and Madam Secretary — and she co-starred as civil rights lawyer Carrie Grace battle in the short-lived NBC drama Sweet righteousness in 1994.

Most recently, Tyson recurred throughout exactly how to get Away through Murder’s six periods as Ophelia Harkness, mommy of Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating, a function that earn her four Primetime Emmy nominations for impressive Guest Actress in a Drama Series. She also scored Emmy nods because that the miniseries Roots and King, among other projects, and also she took house trophies in 1974 (for the TV movie The Autobiography of miss out on Jane Pittman) and 1994 (for the miniseries oldest Living Confederate Widow tells All).


Tyson additionally had a comprehensive film career, most notably together Rebecca Morgan in the 1972 drama Sounder, for which she received Oscar and gold Globe nominations. Her big-screen credits likewise included Fried environment-friendly Tomatoes, since of Winn-Dixie, Diary that a Mad black Woman, Madea’s family Reunion and also The Help. She showed up in number of stage productions, together well, nabbing a Tony compensation in 2013 because that the Broadway beat The trip to Bountiful.

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The actress’ lengthy list of accolades additionally includes an honorary Oscar, a Peabody Award, a Kennedy facility Honors award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Davis paid tribute to Tyson in the Instagram write-up below, remembering how her just how to obtain Away through Murder co-star “made me feeling loved and seen and valued in a human being where over there is quiet a coat of invisibility for united state dark chocolate girls.” HTGAWM EP Shonda Rhimes in turn heralded Tyson as “an especially person. And this is an particularly loss. She had actually so much to teach. And I still have actually so lot to learn. Ns am grateful for every moment. Her power and also grace will certainly be with us forever.”