Throughout her career, Cicely Tyson has brought poignant roles to both the small and silver screens and the legendary actress recently received a major honor for her contributions to the entertainment industry. According to Face2Face Africa, Tyson was inducted into the 2020 TV Hall of Fame.
In the 1950s, the Harlem native began to make a name for herself in theatre by taking on roles in Off-Broadway productions. Her on-stage acting led her to cinema and television. She portrayed roles in several feature films and made history in the process. In 1963 Tyson—who starred in the series East Side/West Side—became the first Black person to star in a TV drama. Nine years later, she received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Sounder. Other definitive projects that Tyson has starred in include Roots, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman—in which she garnered two Emmy Awards for in 1974—and The Help. She’s also been featured in several Tyler Perry projects, including his latest Netflix film A Fall from Grace. She was the first Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar.
Tyson was humbled to be inducted into the TV Hall of Fame. “I am extremely grateful that what I refer to as ‘divine guidance’ led me to this experience and gave me that future of my career,” she said while accepting the honor. “I am grateful, not to the shoulders that I stood on, but the backs that I laid on and stood on while the women in our family picked cotton with babies strapped to their backs. I’m grateful for them. I am super grateful that I have been here for 95 years, and have no idea who this person is. I find myself looking in the mirror every now and then and saying ‘Cicely, do you believe this?’”
Other 2020 inductees included Jay Sandrich, Bob Iger, Seth MacFarlane, and Geraldine Laybourne.