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Cicely Tyson is a trailblazer for black women in theatre, film and television. From her legendary stage work to her directing credits, she is one of the most respected and well known black actresses in the industry. Here are eight things that you may not know about the amazing actress.

  1. She is one of only 10 African American women to be nominated for a Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar.

This is a list of those women who have been nominated: Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe, and Quvenzhané Wallis.

  1. She has a fine arts school named after her.

The Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing & Fine Arts was named in her honor and is located in East Orange, New Jersey. She visits the school frequently, and occasionally teaches a master class in acting.

  1. She was the first African American woman to win an Emmy for Best Actress in a leading role (Movie or Miniseries)

She won the emmy for her performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974).


  1. She was married to Miles Davis.                                                                               They got married by preacher and civil rights activist Andre Young. Bill Cosby gave her away.
  1. She’s the oldest person ever to win a Tony.                                                       When she won a tony award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for The Trip to Bountiful on June 9, 2013, she became the oldest person ever to win an acting Tony.
  1. Her parents kicked her out of the house for pursuing acting.

Her family was extremely religious and when she quit her job as a typist to persue modeling and acting, she was kicked out of the house.

  1. She doesn’t eat meat.

Long before most health gurus stopped eating meat, Tyson has been a vegetarian since the 60s.

  1. She almost starred in the popular Hunger Games movie trilogy.

Tyson was a strong consideration for the role of Magz, which later went to Lynn Cohen.

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