Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Be one of 603 members to make a gift to NHPR and help unlock our $10,000 Public Radio for the 603 Challenge!

Cicely Tyson's Remarkable Career

Cicely Tyson in NPR's studios in Culver City, Calif.
Toyia Baker, NPR /
Cicely Tyson in NPR's studios in Culver City, Calif.

The highlights of Cicely Tyson's life and career tell a story of personal excellence -- and interesting choices. Few know Tyson was the wife of late jazz genius Miles Davis, and was recently acknowledged by President Bush as a driving force in creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

She is better known for her roles on television and the silver screen. Her memorable roles include her Emmy-winning turn in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Harriet Tubman in A Woman Called Moses, Kunta Kinte's mother Binta in Roots and an Oscar-nominated turn as Rebecca in the film Sounder.

Tyson, who can pick and choose her roles, recently made two interesting film choices. She appears in the supporting role of Myrtle in Diary Of a Mad Black Woman, and also as a reclusive woman rumored to be a witch in Because of Winn-Dixie.

The film version of Diary Of a Mad Black Woman is adapted from the stage play of the same name by Tyler Perry, which has garnered a huge following. Critics call the new film an interesting mix of high drama and lowbrow comedy that focuses on forgiveness, family and women finding their own identities.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.