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Pioneering US actress Cicely Tyson dies aged 96

Pioneering American actress Cicely Tyson dies at 96

January 29, 2021: Pioneering Hollywood actress Cicely Tyson, who portrayed African-American characters, has died aged 96, her manager announced.

The cause of death is unknown. She had a career that lasted seven decades.

Tyson is the winner of two Emmys for her performance in the 1974 civil rights-era film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Tyson was nominated for the best actress Oscar and Golden Globe in 1973 for Sounder, about a family of poor black sharecroppers amid the Great Depression in 1933 Louisiana.

She became the first black woman to take on East Side/West Side’s leading role in the 1960s.

Tyson changed down stereotypical roles for black women by playing only healthy, positive, and realistic characters.

“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 on Thursday.

“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,” the manager said, meaning that she died peacefully.

Michelle Obama said she would “miss her dearly.”

Michelle added, “I smile knowing how many people she inspired, just like me, to walk a little taller, speak a little more freely, and live a little bit more as God intended.”

Singer Rihanna said Tyson was a true legend, and Zendaya tweeted that “this one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest ever to do it. Thank you, Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power”.

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