Governors Awards: Cicely Tyson Looks Back on a Groundbreaking Career

About damn time. Congrats!

Cicely Tyson called her friend Arthur Mitchell soon after learning she’d be honored with an Oscar to celebrate her legendary acting career.

A trailblazer like her, the former ballet dancer accompanied her to the Oscars in 1973, when she was nominated for lead actress in “Sounder.” Tyson starred as the matriarch in a sharecropping family struggling to survive during the Great Depression and went on to star in “Roots,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Help” and “The Trip to Bountiful.”
“The Oscars were held on his birthday and he escorted me,” recalls Tyson, 93, “still speechless” about the honorary award she will receive Nov. 18. “Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after I tried to explain to him that I have an Oscar now.”

Tyson, the first black woman to win an honorary Oscar, doesn’t know who will accompany her to the Governors Awards ceremony now.

“There is no way to replace him,” the Harlem native says of Mitchell, the first African-American dancer in the New York City Ballet. “We’d been friends for 50 years. I have not even thought about who’s going to escort me.”

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Photo Credit: Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9049680ey)
Cicely Tyson attends night two of the Television Academy’s 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles Television Academy’s 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards – Backstage and Audience – Night 2, Los Angeles, USA – 10 Sep 2017

 

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