Cicely Tyson

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Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson 1973 (cropped).jpg
Tyson in 1973
Born
Cicely Louise Tyson[1][2][3][4]

(1924-12-19)December 19, 1924[5][a]
DiedJanuary 28, 2021(2021-01-28) (aged 96)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery (Bronx, New York)
OccupationActress
Years active1948–2021
Notable work
Spouse(s)
Kenneth Franklin
(m. 1942; div. 1956)

Miles Davis
(m. 1981; div. 1989)
Children1
AwardsFull list

Cicely Louise Tyson (December 19, 1924[9][10] – January 28, 2021) was an American actress. She played Sipsey in the comedic-drama movie Fried Green Tomatoes (1991),[11] and played Mamma Kay in the movie The Haunting in Georgia (2013). She also played Carrie Grace Battle in the television series Sweet Justice.

Tyson was born in New York City.[12] She died on January 28, 2021 in New York City at the age of 96.[13]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. At the time of her death, numerous sources, most notably the New York Times, listed Tyson's date of birth as December 18, 1924. Indeed it was the Times, back in 2013, that had first broken the story, confirmed by Tyson, that the actress was in fact 88 years old, and thus born in December 1924 rather than 1933 as had been previously reported.[6] As Tyson explained in her 2021 memoir, "1933" was no mistake, but rather a prime example of the age-shaving initiated by her onetime manager and perpetuated by Tyson with the express intent of bypassing the pervasive age discrimination facing women in the industry. That said, no matter how many years mysteriously vanished along the way, the month and day of her birth, as cited in media accounts throughout Tyson's career, had remained a constant at December 19.[7] By contrast, the only source for the Times' 12/18 date seems to be a 1935 document, the Petition for Naturalization filed by Cicely's father William Augustine Tyson on July 31 of that year. The problem is that by that time, again as recounted in the 2021 memoir, it had been at least seven months—and perhaps as many as 10—since Mr. Tyson actually resided with his wife and children. The previous fall, no longer willing to put up with William's persistent and unrepentant adultery (not to mention his hair-trigger temper when confronted regarding this behavior), Fredericka Tyson had gathered their three children plus essential belongings and promptly moved to a new address, where her husband was welcome to visit—so as not to deprive their children of a father altogether—but no more than that.[8] (Just how deep a rift had been opened up between the two may perhaps be gleaned from the 1940 U.S. Census entry for the Tyson family, now minus William, wherein all four remaining Tysons have retroactively been 'reborn' in South Carolina.[2]) And so, coming some seven to 10 months after their informal separation, with his attention presumably even more divided than before, a slight lack of precision regarding his eldest daughter's birth date should not come as too great a surprise.

Reference[change | change source]

  1. "Petition for Naturalization". FamilySearch.org. U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824–1946. July 31, 1935. Cecily, Dec. 18, 1924
  2. 2.0 2.1 "United States Census, 1940; New York City, Manhattan, Assembly District 18". FamilySearch.org. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. April 3, 1940. Cecily Tyson, Female, 16, Single, Negro, Daughter
  3. "'Stars of Tomorrow' Enroll for Contest". New York Amsterdam News. May 23, 1953. Close on her heels were Jean Johnson, a beautician of 435 W. 125th St., and Cecily Tyson, a fashion model, who lives at 311 E. 102nd St.
  4. "Cicely Tyson, Towering Award-Winning Star of Stage and Screen, Dies at 96". Broadway.com. January 28, 2021. Cicely Louise Tyson was born on December 18, 1924 in New York City.
  5. * Elber, Lynn (January 23, 2020). "Cicely Tyson Talks Life, Longevity and Love". Chicago Tribune. p. 36. "She described her annual birthday eve ritual. 'I sit at a table with a clock and when it gets to one minute after 12, that's when I say, "Thank You," and "Happy Birthday, Cicely,"' said Tyson, who was born December 19, 1924 in New York City."
    • Tyson, Cicely; Burford, Michelle (2021). Just as I Am: A Memoir. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 16, 17, 368. ISBN 978-0-06-293106-1 "My parents began their married life together in a Bronx tenement before later relocating to Manhattan's East Side. The year after they wed, they welcomed my brother, Melrose, a name my father had loved since the day he spotted it on a street sign in the Bronx. Six days before Christmas in 1924, I arrived with my thumb poked in my mouth and nary a strand of hair." [...] "After we'd moved from the Bronx to the East Side, Daddy would put me in my stroller early in the mornings and walk me over to Central Park." [...] "During the press blitzkrieg surrounding the Kennedy Center ceremony, I spoke that number aloud with nary a quake in my voice. 'When were you born?' one reporter asked me. 'December 19, 1924,' I answered.'"
    • "Cicely Tyson, performer". Playbill Vault.
    • Palm, Anika Myers (January 29, 2021). "Cicely Tyson, iconic and influential actress, dies at 96". CNN. "Tyson was born December 19, 1924, in New York to William and Theodosia Tyson."
    • Dillon, Nancy; Greene, Leonard (January 29, 2021). "Cicely Tyson Dies, 96; B'way, Hollywood star played strong women". New York Daily News. "Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem on December 19, 1924."
    • "Cicely Tyson Obituary". The Guardian. January 31, 2021. "Cicely Tyson, actor, born 19 December 1924; died 28 January 2021."
    • Tyson, Cicely (December 19, 2019). p. A8. "Thought of the Day".Kent County News. "Cicely Tyson, American actress, born on this day in 1924."
    • Democrat staff (December 19, 2018). "It's Your Birthday: Who's Celebrating Today". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 5B.
    • Record-Journal staff (December 19, 2017). "Today in History". Meriden Record-Journal. p. B6.
    • Times staff (December 19, 2016). "Birthdays". The Salisbury Daily Times. p .C6.
  6. Brantley, Ben (April 23, 2013). "Home Is Where the Years Disappear". New York Times.
  7. * Herald-Palladium staff (December 18, 1976). "What in the World: Birthdays (Sunday-Saturday)". The Herald-Palladium Family Weekend. p. 14.
  8. Tyson, Cicely; Burford, Michelle (2021). Just as I Am: A Memoir. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 47-53. ISBN 978-0-06-293106-1.
  9. "New York, Naturalization Records, 1882-1944 (database online)". Ancestry.com. Original source: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.; Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944; Series M1972, Roll 956. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  10. "Cicely Tyson Biography". biography.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  11. Barbara Tepa Lupack, Literary Adaptations in Black American Cinema (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2002), p. 383
  12. "Cicely Tyson". Film Reference. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  13. "Cicely Tyson, groundbreaking award-winning actor, dead at 96". SFGATE. January 28, 2021. Archived from the original on January 29, 2021. Retrieved January 28, 2021.