Tony winner Cicely Tyson died January 28 at age 96. Prior to earning her Tony at age 88 for her performance in The Trip to Bountiful, Tyson began her stage career performing Off-Broadway in the 1950s. She made her Broadway debut in the 1959 play Jolly’s Progress, understudying Eartha Kitt.
With a career spanning over seven decades, Tyson cemented her legendary status through her refusal to take on roles that perpetuated Black stereotypes, always focusing on characters that would portray Black women positively. She received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2015, and the following year she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
Read the full Playbill obituary here.
Following the news of Tyson's passing, the theatre community took to social media to share memories about the trailblazing performer and Civil Rights activist.
#CicelyTyson This is your story. Your song. Blessed Assurance. It’s what you gave us. A foretaste of glory!❤️ I love this video of you. A spectacular night. A spectacular life. Thank you for blessing us and for lighting way. I miss you already. So so much https://t.co/F73A9k9dT9— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2021
Remembering Tony Award® winner, Civil Rights icon and real class act, Cicely Tyson: https://t.co/bPMjM7pVuW pic.twitter.com/ZCKJpqQRqU— Shubert Organization (@ShubertOrg) January 29, 2021
Woke up this morning thinking about this amazing conversation. We must never stop giving flowers to our legends, that's one of the main reasons why this platform exists in the first place. pic.twitter.com/LHcd7FujDx— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) January 29, 2021
Another great one lost. #CicelyTyson had a heart of gold and left such a legacy in entertainment and beyond. We will remember you always ♥️ pic.twitter.com/F34viVOvAX— Marie Osmond (@marieosmond) January 29, 2021