Cicely Tyson, the pioneering Black actor who gained an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and touched TV viewers’ hearts in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” died Thursday at age 96.
Zendaya, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and many others have offered their reaction to the death of Cicely Tyson.
“This one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power.” — Zendaya via Instagram.
“Cicely decided early on that her work as an actor would be more than a job. She used her career to illuminate the humanity in Black people. The roles she played reflected her values; she never compromised. Her life so fully lived is a testimony to Greatness.” — Oprah Winfrey, in a written statement.
“She was an extraordinary person. And this is an extraordinary loss. She had so much to teach. And I still have so much to learn. I am grateful for every moment. Her power and grace will be with us forever.” — Shonda Rhimes via Instagram.
“Thank you Cicely Tyson... for everything...” — Gayle King on Twitter.
“This one cuts deep. @IAmCicelyTyson was my first screen Mom.. Elegance, warmth, beauty, wisdom, style and abundant grace. She was as regal as they come. An artist of the highest order, I will love her forever.” — Levar Burton on Twitter.
“Often times the talent and success of black girls and women are treated as gold in the pan—temporary and fleeting. Tyson showed the world that the black woman is more than a moment. We are legends, myths in our own right.” — inauguration poet Amanda Gorman, in a written statement.
“Legend. Rest in Paradise Queen. Thank you for kicking doors down for girls like me. #CicelyTyson” — actor Tika Sumpter on Twitter.
“So many great stories about Cicely Tyson! Whew: that lady was amazing. While shooting a doc on her in Spanish Harlem—people kept stopping their cars! In the street! To hop out and say hi! Old people. Teenagers. Middle aged fans. “Ciss-el-lee” they’d chant as she’d walk by!” — Soledad O’Brien via Twitter.
“Though we are not related, her mother was friends with my grandmother in the West Indies, with strongly resonant struggles and triumphs. Farewell to a force of nature unto herself — in person, on stage, and on the screen. ” — Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter.
“The King Center joins the world in remembering the life and legacy of #CicelyTyson. Trailblazer is not a sufficient description. What a legendary artist, sage and matriarch. We salute her. Rest in power, Lady Cicely.” — The Martin Luther King, Jr Center via Twitter.
“If only we could be as blessed as the prolific, vivacious and pioneering Cicely Tyson to live to be 96 and have had such a full life, accomplish so many awesome milestones and leave such an incredible body of work. She’ll never be forgetten! #CicelyTyson” — comedian-actor Sherri Shepherd on Twitter.
"Wow, what a loss! Cicely Tyson just published her memoir this week!! Her life story and now the news of her passing. She was a trailblazer. A pioneer, a force, and an elegant woman of class." — Maria Shriver on Twitter.
“Cicely Tyson is one of those legends you’d hoped we would have forever. And you knew it was a silly dream but you dreamt it anyway. This day is hard for so many reasons. This is a massive loss. Thank you for your gifts, queen.” — actor-comedian-writer Robin Thede via Twitter.
"I’m sad to hear the news that we lost our dear Cicely Tyson, the sweetest person I’ve ever met. A Queen, legend, and pioneer, Ms. Cicely Tyson opened the door for so many Black actresses on Broadway and in television and film." — Earvin “Magic” Johnson via Twitter.