Cicely Tyson

Lowest Rated: 12% Alex Cross (2012)
Birthday: Dec 19, 1933
Birthplace: New York, New York, USA
One of America's most respected dramatic actresses, Cicely Tyson has worked steadily as a television, film, and stage actress since making her stage debut in a Harlem YMCA production of Dark of the Moon in the 1950s. The daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Tyson was raised in Harlem. After working as a secretary and a successful model, she became an actress, landed her first jobs in off-Broadway productions, and eventually made it to the Great White Way in the late '50s.Tyson got her first real break in 1963, playing a secretary to George C. Scott on the TV series East Side/West Side, and in 1966 signed on with the daytime soap The Guiding Light. That same year, she made her credited screen debut starring opposite Sammy Davis Jr. in the drama A Man Called Adam (her first uncredited film role was in 1959's Odds Against Tomorrow). More film, television, and stage work followed, but Tyson did not truly become a star until her Oscar-nominated performance in the Depression drama Sounder (1972). An unusual beauty with delicate features, expressive black eyes, and a full, wide mouth, Tyson next hid her good looks beneath layers of old-age makeup to convincingly portray a 110-year-old former slave who tells her extraordinary life story in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974). A well-wrought effort, it won Tyson her first Emmy for her title role, which required her to age 91 years on the screen. Tyson subsequently had great success on television, particularly with her role in the legendary miniseries Roots (1977) and her work in The Women of Brewster Place (1989). She also continued to do a fair amount of film work, appearing in films like Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (1994), The Grass Harp (1995), and Hoodlum (1997). In 1997, Tyson again donned old woman's makeup to offer a delightfully crotchety version of Charles Dickens' Scrooge in the 1997 USA Network original production Ms. Scrooge. Two years later, she had another television success -- and another Emmy nomination -- with A Lesson Before Dying, a drama set in the 1940s about a black man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Tyson was later featured in a trio of popular Tyler Perry movies, including Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010). She also had a small, but pivotal, role in 2011's Oscar-nominated The Help, as Contstantine, the loving and elderly maid of Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone).

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
78% Last Flag Flying Actor $0.5M 2017
No Score Yet Showing Roots Hattie 2016
No Score Yet The Trip to Bountiful Carrie Watts Producer Executive Producer 2014
19% The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia Mama Kay 2013
12% Alex Cross Nana Mama $25.9M 2012
76% The Help Constantine Jefferson $169.8M 2011
27% Why Did I Get Married Too Ola $48.6M 2010
No Score Yet Up From The Bottoms: The Search For The American Dream Narrator 2009
No Score Yet Relative Stranger Pearl 2009
No Score Yet Rwanda Rising Actor 2007
47% Idlewild Mother Hopkins $12.6M 2006
25% Madea's Family Reunion Myrtle $63.3M 2006
No Score Yet Fat Rose and Squeaky Celine Snow 2006
16% Diary of a Mad Black Woman Myrtle $50.4M 2005
55% Because of Winn-Dixie Gloria $32.6M 2005
No Score Yet The Rosa Parks Story Leona McCauley 2002
No Score Yet Jewel Cathedral 2001
No Score Yet Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman - The Play Actor 2001
No Score Yet Mama Flora's Family Mama Flora 1999
80% A Lesson Before Dying Tante Lou 1999
No Score Yet Always Outnumbered Luvia 1998
43% Hoodlum Stephanie St. Clair 1997
No Score Yet Riot Maggie 1997
No Score Yet Ms. Scrooge Ebenita Scrooge 1997
50% The Grass Harp Actor 1996
No Score Yet The Road to Galveston Jordan Roosevelt 1996
31% Jefferson in Paris Actor 1995
No Score Yet The Price of Heaven Vesta Lotte Battle 1995
No Score Yet Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Castalia 1994
No Score Yet When No One Would Listen Sarah 1992
No Score Yet Duplicates Dr. Randolph 1992
74% Fried Green Tomatoes Sipsey 1991
No Score Yet Heat Wave Ruthana Richardson 1990
No Score Yet The Kid Who Loved Christmas Actor 1990
No Score Yet The Women of Brewster Place Mrs. Browne 1989
No Score Yet Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story Muriel 1986
No Score Yet Acceptable Risks Janet Framm 1986
No Score Yet The Marva Collins Story Marva Collins 1981
60% Bustin' Loose Vivian Perry 1981
14% The Concorde... Airport '79 Elaine 1979
No Score Yet A Woman Called Moses Harriet Ross Tubman 1978
No Score Yet A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Sweets 1978
No Score Yet King Actor 1978
No Score Yet Wilma Actor 1977
No Score Yet The River Niger Mattie Williams 1976
No Score Yet The Blue Bird Cat 1976
No Score Yet Just an Old Sweet Song Priscilla Simmons 1976
No Score Yet The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Jane Pittman 1974
88% Sounder Rebecca Morgan 1972
100% The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Portia 1968
27% The Comedians Marie Therese 1967
No Score Yet A Man Called Adam Claudia Ferguson 1966
No Score Yet The Last Angry Man Girl Left on Porch 1959
86% Odds Against Tomorrow Fra 1959

TV

CREDIT
93% How to Get Away With Murder
2014
Ophelia
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet The View
1997
Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011-2018
Appearing
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
Odine Burdett
  • 2009
No Score Yet The Proud Family
2001-2005
Voice
  • 2002
No Score Yet The Outer Limits
1995-2002
Parkhurst
  • 2000
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
Host Guest
  • 1979
86% Roots
1977
Binta
  • 1977
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
1955-1975
Rachel Biggs
  • 1970
No Score Yet Mission: Impossible
1966-1973
Alma Ross
  • 1970

QUOTES FROM Cicely Tyson CHARACTERS