Monday, August 31, 2009

Soul of Cinema Star for September

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson is an award-winning African American actress. She was born and raised in Harlem, New York by her West Indian parents Theodosia and William Tyson. Tyson worked as a secretary when her stunning beauty was discovered by a photographer which lead her to start a career as a model. Her first uncredited role was in the film, Carib Gold in 1957. From there she went on to do television - the celebrated series East Side/West Side and the long-running soap opera The Guiding Light.
She appeared in The Comedians in 1967, and had a featured role in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter the following year. In 1972, she received an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the critically acclaimed Sounder, the same year Diana Ross was nominated for Best Actress in Lady Sings the Blues. In 1974 she won two Emmy Awards for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Other acclaimed television roles included Roots, King, in which she played Coretta Scott King, The Marva Collins Story, When No One Would Listen and Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (for which she won another Emmy). In 2005, Tyson co-starred in the movies Because of Winn-Dixie and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Tyson co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

She has dedicated her career in playing only roles of strong women. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and has a high school named in her honor, The Cicely Tyson High School of Performing and Fine Arts located in East Orange, New Jersey. Tyson was married to legendary trumpeter Miles Davis from 1981 to 1988. Her career and contributions span over decades and she will forever be a star of Soul of Cinema Movie Review.